Did you ever think to yourself, "You know what? I might be overweight but I'm actually not unhappy about that. I look decent, I feel healthy, fuck it, I don't want to deny myself food or spend hours at the gym!"? And then did you subsequently feel a little guilty about that (maybe after a visit to your doctor) because you keep hearing that refrain in your head about dying sooner and getting diseases and whatever? Well, today, doctors have some slightly less crappy news for those women with BMIs between 25 and 30: you might not actually die that much quicker, maybe. A run down of the results, after the jump.
So, the federal government classifies people with BMIs between 25 and 30 as "overweight" and those with BMIs of over 30 as "obese." Of course, two-thirds of Americans are technically over their federally mandated BMI for their height, which kinda means that "overweight" is now functionally equivalent to normal, Hollywood and fashion mags be damned, but whatevs.
Point is, the scientists examined cause of death data for 2.3 million Americans from 2004 and found that, while obesity had a strong statistical correlation with excess deaths due to diabetes, kidney and heart disease and with fat-related cancers (breast, uterine, ovarian, kidney, colon, esophageal and pancreatic), obesity wasn't actually strongly associated with an increased risk in cancer deaths.
But being only overweight didn't have any correlation with excess death due to heart disease or cancer at all, though there was an association with diabetes and kidney disease. But the really good news was that being overweight was actually associated with a decreased risk of almost every other kind of non-heart, non-cancer-related death, including injury, tuberculosis, emphysema, pneumonia, and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
Dr. Katherine M. Flegal, the lead research scientist on the study at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says not to start packing on the pounds, though: "The take-home message is that the relationship between fat and mortality is more complicated than we tend to think." Yeah, plus, being skinny and/or alive at 90 is no compensation for a lifetime without chocolate, bread, pasta, bacon, cheese, steak and every other type of delicious food that isn't good for the size of our hips.
Being Overweight Isn't All Bad, Study Says [Washington Post]