Friday, March 22, 2013

Left Side of the Aisle #100 - Part 3

Good News #3: Being overweight is not a disease

Good news at least for some of us.

In 1913, the New York Times quoted a medical examiner as describing a particular woman, a particular individual, as "perfect." This woman had by modern calculation a Body Mass Index, of BMI, of 27. But this medical examiner said that in her "physical makeup there is not a single defect." Today a BMI between 25 and 30 is considered overweight. A BMI above 30 is considered obese.

But new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests they may have had it right in 1913.

The researchers analyzed nearly 100 studies that included nearly three million adults to compare mortality rates among different weight classes. There are three classes of obesity. Only the two highest grades of obesity (people with a BMI above 35) were at greater risk of dying. People in the overweight category and obesity Class 1 actually did a little better than those in the "normal" weight category.

That is, people who are classified as overweight or moderately obese actually experienced a slightly reduced mortality as compared to those in the "normal," the "healthy," weight class. The difference wasn't huge, but it was there.

All of which goes to prove - again - that despite what we hear, despite what we get told, being overweight is not itself a health condition. Is it not itself a sickness.


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