Skip to main content

Miraculous Misconceptions: Obese and Healthy?

A study published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism this week concluded that obese people who are otherwise considered healthy, live as long as their “skinny” peers.   The study also suggests that healthy obese individuals are less likely to die from cardiovascular complications than their lean counterparts.

I silently laughed as the media got a hold of this study with titles such as, “Fat and Healthy? Study finds Slim isn’t always Superior”, or “Being fat isn’t a death sentence at all”, or my favorite “Obesity Police busted? Study says fat people can be healthy.”

The study monitored 6,000 obese Americans over 16 years and compared them to the death rate of lean individuals.  Once compared, the conclusion was found that the mortality rate of obese individuals who had none or minor co-morbidities were no higher than that of lean people.

CBS interviewed Dr. Kulk who stated "I think this is a common notion, that if you are overweight you are unhealthy and that if you are skinny you are healthy. What people need to realize is that normal-weight people can have diabetes, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular problems."

I echo what Dr. Kulk says and because of that, this study wasn’t so mind blowing for me.  Basically a lean person with Diabetes, and Hypertension, especially that is uncontrolled, will absolutely have a higher mortality risk than the obese person with no co-morbidities. 

I wonder what the ages were of the individuals who were monitored and I also ask myself, is sixteen years a long enough time span to monitor?  I’m not sure, especially when I think about the overweight college student that doesn’t find out they have Type 2 Diabetes, high cholesterol, or hypertension until their mid thirties. 

After reading clips from this study, at the end of the day I think it’s important to always look at the whole picture. Do I think you can look at someone’s weight and assess their health status?  Absolutely not and this is why I don’t put too much merit on BMI and weight alone in my practice.  It’s important to address family history, diet, physical activity, and co-morbidities.  Always remember, just because you do not have any co-morbidities now, no matter what your weight, does not mean you will not develop them later.  Focus on a healthy diet and physical activity for heart health and don’t skip your yearly physicals.  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Food Trends: Macros Misconstrued

Oh Macros, how I love thee. You are the foundation of my nutrition recommendations. You should be individualized and different for everyone although you are "prescribed" routinely the same person to person. You are scientific, there is not a one size fits all, and frankly you are misunderstood.

A couple of years ago Macros started to become more popular in the www world when a brilliant someone decided to market magical macro percentages to induce weight loss, body massing, and everything else under the sun. The thought process is to start with grams of protein needs dependent on body weight, to then look at range of fats between 25-35% dependent on goals and body type, and to provide the remaining of your macro goals from carbohydrates.  How easy, especially since everyone has the same protein needs, insert sarcasm here.

Right away many bought into this bullet proof hope and we now have too many folks determining and "prescribing" ratios for people who aren't …

A Note to Self before "Bathing Suit Season"

We are coming up on Memorial Day Weekend. The pools will open, beach season begins, and everyone is scurrying around to buy new bathing suits or cover ups. Although I LOVE summer there's an aspect of this time of year that I very much dislike.  I absolutely cannot stand the insecurity bathing suits bring to the mind. How many of your friends' Facebook and Instagram posts read "Gotta get bikini ready" or "I'm not ready for bathing suit season?" It's on everyone's minds and we have much better things to worry about people.

The fact of the matter is that MOST people feel vulnerable in a bathing suit. Think about it you are practically naked and I'm pretty sure the woman whose body modeled your final product may have had longer legs or is 15 years old.

Is it really worth allowing yourself to feel vulnerable and insecure over something that realistically isn't even created to showcase your body's strengths?  What in the world does how yo…

EAT TO RUN

I am a runner, although not currently training for anything. I started off running track in high school, short distance sprints ( an 800 was LONG for me) and I've always run many miles with my soccer endeavors.  In college I dabbled with running longer mileage but would cap it at 30 minutes. Ahhh the days of exercising 30 minutes a day, I remember those!!  

Shortly after I had my second child I realized how crazy life was with two children under the age of 18 months. I started running for two reasons: 1) It was the only time I had to myself  2) I lost so much of my core strength and endurance with back to back pregnancies I needed my strength back.  I've run 5 half marathons, many 10 milers and more than I can count 10 Ks, 5 milers, and 5 K's. My closet is lined with ribbons, medals, and trophies and even some podium awards.

Once I felt I mastered my running goals, and tired or runners knee,  I started competing in triathlons. What a challenge! I was stoked to make the p…