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The case for being overweight

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I saw this story over the weekend, and it seems to continue to generate some buzz.


    Essentially, a very extensive evaluation of various studies shows that overweight people - not obese, but simply overweight - have a lower mortality rate than thin people. It boggles the mind, really, since it's so counterintuitive. I don't think that BMI is perfect, because you have some exceptions like very muscular people that BMI doesn't account for. But you'd think that such people would be the exceptions, not the rule, in a study of millions of people. So I doubt that accounts for this result.

    I think the story also mentions that overweight people are more likely to have major health problems actually identified and diagnosed because they have to seek medical attention.

    A follow-up op-ed piece today says that our "fear of fat" is "absurd," and speculates that these findings will be largely ignored because they don't fit the narrative:


    Interesting stuff, for sure. If I recall from the story, and if I'm interpreting correctly, even obese people aren't as at-risk as we thought.
  2. typefitter

    typefitter Well-Known Member

    It says very clearly in the article that being obese is still a problem: "But over all, piling on the pounds and becoming more than slightly obese remains dangerous."

    What's slightly obese, according to the BMI scale? A 5-foot-10 man who weighs 210 is considered obese.

    This is not open season on the buffet.
  3. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Yes, that's why I said this:

  4. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    This info has been out there for years. I myself have mentioned it quite a few times. I remember how it came out way back then -- on the heels of a study that said being overweight was worse than smoking, they were forced to re-examine the data and this is what conclusion that data yielded. A co-worker brought donuts to the office in celebration.

    Anyway, as typefitter notes, what they call obese is something that most people wouldn't picture when they say the word "obese." Also, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound man fits into the "overweight" category in this study.
  5. godshammgod

    godshammgod Member

    I just read this as largely debunking the idea of BMI. I've always thought it's a shoddy metric.

    I think one of the best takeaways from this article is the idea that not all fat is bad-- both in your body and in the foods you eat. I hate when people try to avoid all fat. That's not a healthy way to live.

    For example, I recently lost a lot of weight in the past 3/4 years. At my lowest I was 6' and about 185 pounds. My BMI was still overweight, but I was pretty skinny and frail. I rode my bike a ton and didn't eat nearly enough. In the past year or so I have put on some weight (about 200 now, but typically drop down to 195ish during my cycling season), but I also feel a whole lot more healthier. I've been eating better, and more varied foods (I like to thank my fiancee for that), while also incorporating more weight and core training. I think this is an important thing for people to understand. Weight taken on its own is not a very good way to measure health. You can be incredibly skinny, but also unhealthy.
  6. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    But they get laid a lot less.
  7. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    BMI is a joke. About 10 years ago, I went to the doctor and I weighed 225 and he said "You're at the ideal weight for your height and build..."

    That was the first time I had ever heard anything close to that. I was in pretty good shape at the time, but I would have guessed that I was 25-30 pounds overweight. I asked him to clarify and he said, "Well, we'd have to dunk you to find out for sure, but I'm guessing you're within 5-10 pounds of it.

    I came in later that week and they dunked me and determined that my ideal weight was 220. That was probably the happiest I've ever been at one of my doctor's appointments. I had been told my entire life that the ideal weight for someone who is my height (6-3) was 185-190, and I'd never been close to that. I think the skinniest I'd been as an adult was 215 and that was after having mono in college.

    It blows my mind that they throw out terms like "ideal weight" as freely as they do when there are so many factors needed to determine what an ideal weight is, stuff that goes well beyond something as simple as just your height...

    It's no wonder why so many people find out what BMI says their ideal weight is and people give up knowing that's never possible.
  8. typefitter

    typefitter Well-Known Member

    No, I know. I was getting more at society's definition of "overweight" and "obese" versus the definition of those things in the story. The article is suggesting that maybe it's not so bad to be "overweight." But the article's definition of "overweight" is different, I would think, than most of our definitions, especially when we're looking in the mirror, trying to convince ourselves we don't look so bad.

    At my fattest, I was 5-10 and 220. I would have called myself overweight, but by these measures, I was obese. That's what I was trying to get at. "The case for being overweight" did not apply to me.
  9. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Mine said between 148 and 200...

    I'm 6-3. If I weighed 148 I would look like I was near death.
  10. Chef2

    Chef2 Well-Known Member

    I am at my ideal height and weight if I were 19 feet tall.
  11. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    We're the same god damn shape/size. The last time I was not "overweight on the BMI scale" was when I was 20. I weighed about 178 pounds. For me to keep that ridiculous weight I would have to work out 2 times a day and basically starve myself. I now however around 190 and that's with regular work outs. It is a much better place for me even if it is overweight.
  12. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    The problem with this is the majority of doctors use BMI as gospel for being overweight... That's why I was so excited when I encountered the doctor a decade ago... You hear something enough and you start to accept it.

    I'm sure my ideal weight is lower today. I'm not in as good shape as I was when I was 29 and I weigh about 15-20 pounds more now... But I know my ideal weight is not between 148 and 200.

    A friend of mine is in the military. He's about the same height as I am and weighs 215. The guy is shredded and in unreal shape for someone pushing 40... He put on his FB page after his last physical that the doctor told him he was more than 20 pounds overweight.
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