To be Fat or Not to be Fat?

America is fat, but it may also be healthy. A recent study on over weight individuals has sparked a lot of criticism. Katherine Flegal, a senior research scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says:

We published an article in 2005 that showed, among other things, that (being) overweight was associated with lower mortality.

Since then, Flegal and her associates have been working on a study that involves reviews of over 100 previous studies linking weight and mortality. The study claims that those who are overweight but not obese might be able to live through medical crisis’ better than those who are thin. The idea is that you lose weight when you are facing something serious, be it stress or a medical problem, and that those with more fat on them can shed 20lbs without much impact on their body. However, if you are thin and you lose 20lbs you end up straining your body and energy which can worsen your health, ultimately causing a pre-mature death.

It might also have to do with the mentality of individuals. A healthy thin individual may not be as inclined to see the doctor as often as an overweight individual might. Let us say for instance that both a thin and an overweight individual has a dormant tumor. The overweight individual may detect it sooner due to more frequent checkups than the thin individual simply because of the “I’m healthy I don’t need to get a checkup” mentality. Not to mention the stubbornness of not seeing a doctor for routine checkups because it costs too much. I think it all boils down to living healthier lives and paying attention to your body! Experts say that ultimately it comes down to how you feel, if you are overweight but fit and you feel good then you are healthy! 

The obese make us fat Americans average, does that mean that the average sized people will live longer lives? What do you think? Maybe its time to stop hitting the gym and time to start eating more pies! Chocolate pies, raspberry pies, banana cream pies, mint pies, key lime pies….. mmmmm so many PIES!



The Obese Shall Inherit the Earth

jabba the hut

As a species we are round, plump, overweight, porky, of ample proportions, jelly-bellied, elephanty- call it what you want. We are fat! We have evolved from scavenging bushes and laboriously hunting animals to survive a few more worrisome nights, to covering ourselves in chocolate and cream for sexual pleasure, all in the blink of a cosmic eye.

With that image in mind, hang on to your flab world, I have some back breaking news:  it’s official, we are obnoxiously, and fatally fat. The shocking truth is that we are now so fat that obesity is currently a bigger global health crisis than hunger. It’s official, according to a new study from The Lancet, obesity the leading cause of disabilities around the world. The health burden from high body mass indexes now exceeds that due to hunger.  The ‘big boned’ excuse isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Approximately 500 researchers from 50 different countries compiled health date from 1990 to 2010 into the Global Burden of Disease report. The numbers aren’t pretty.

Despite showing extremely high global immunization rates, the report revealed that:

Every country, with the exception of those in sub-Saharan Africa, faces alarming obesity rates — an increase of 82% globally in the past two decades. Middle Eastern countries are more obese than ever, seeing a 100% increase since 1990.

Ali Mokdad, co-author of the study, explains that:

The so-called ‘Western lifestyle’ is being adapted all around the world, and the impacts are all the same.

So what has obesity paved the way for as far as impacts go?  For the first time in history, noncommunicable diseases like heart disease and diabetes are the top reasons for years spent sick.

Mokdad added that:

All these problems are tied to obesity. We’re even seeing a large percentage of people suffering back pain now. If we could lower the obesity rates, we’d see the numbers of noncommunicable diseases and pain decrease as well.

The report wasn’t all negative at least.  People are living much longer than what was projected in 1990.  Men have gained 10.7 years of life and women have gained 12.6.  But, even those numbers are tinged by obesity, as the quality of life during old age has dramatically decreased.  On average, people all over the world suffer from illness and pain for the last 14 years of life.

Mokdad points out that:

We’ve figured out how to keep the person who suffered a stroke alive, but then they’re living disabled for years afterward. That’s not the quality of life that person expected.

Noncommunicable diseases are a huge problem for the world economy and your pocket as well.  A 2011 report from the World Economic Forum and Harvard School of Public Health outlines how these diseases will account for $30 trillion over the next twenty years, with an additional $16 trillion in mental health care costs.

Health professional say that stress is the greatest killer, and obesity is one of the most harmful stresses we can put on our bodies and lives. Let’s make sure we are addressing this issue on all levels, communally and individually.

Here is my number one hint in 2013 for losing weight and becoming healthier overall; drop the soda-pop. 

Take your last high fructose filled gulp and never look back.



CNN: Global report: Obesity bigger health crisis than hunger

The Lancet: Global Burden of Disease Study 2010

World Economic Forum: The Global Economic Burden of Non-communicable Diseases

CNN: Time to address a neglected global epidemic

HuffPost: Soda, Other Sugary Drinks More Firmly Tied To Obesity In New Studies

Wondergressive: Obesity and Low Carb Fads: Where Did We Go Wrong? (Part 1)