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Death’s License for Fat?

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 4:06 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
The ReaperIn 2005, researchers announced that the overweight had a lower mortality rate than the obese.  A few months ago, they expanded upon that, stating that the overweight have a lower mortality rate than all other weight brackets – obese, normal and under. The few extra pounds detract from the likelihood of death as a result of Parkinson’s, infection, Alzheimer’s and lung disease.  Meanwhile, the obese are more likely to die from heart disease. The underweight are more likely to die from non-cardiovascular and non-cancer causes and the normal are more susceptible to cancer-induced death. So does this mean that you should pack on a few pounds, find joy in your folds and celebrate the spare tire?

If your only concern is death, then, go for it. Embrace the idea of being overweight. Eat as much as you want and shun physical activity, so long as you don’t cross the line into obesity. Enjoy your longer life, but be prepared for it to be a bumpy ride. You may not die as early from various diseases, but you’ll still have them. Being overweight increases your risk of developing cancer, diabetes and heart disease. It impairs your ability to function regularly, making, in some cases, everyday activities more difficult. Your life will be longer, yes, but better, no.

On the other hand, if you are more concerned with quality than quantity, walk away from these findings with the realization that numbers and weight classification aren’t the most important factors in health.  Our system of labeling individuals as overweight, obese, normal and underweight is largely flawed. Rather than basing your health-evaluation on BMI and scale results, you should consider all aspects of your life. If you are physically active, eating well and have test results that please both your doctor and your body but have a few extra pounds, that is okay. Don’t be obsessed with getting into the “normal” range. Be obsessed with being healthy.

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