Heimpel discusses some of the research on being fat and healthy (or not), citing Katherine Flegal’s study which found that being overweight decreased the risk of death compared to normal-weight folks, and even moderately obese are not at higher risk than underweight adults. He also discussed surgery survival:
A study published last month in the Annals of Surgery supported this “obesity paradox.” The report, which looked at more than 100,000 patients who had undergone nonbariatric general surgery, found that overweight and moderately obese patients had mortality rates 15 and 27 percent lower, respectively, than normal-weight patients. One of the study’s coauthors, Dr. Donald Moorman, of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, speculated that the excess weight could provide stores of protein to supply the healing process. “Perhaps this group has been identified as doing better because they are less nutritionally depleted, and thus their healing factors are much better,” he says.
Traci Mann’s review of weight-loss studies and Linda Bacon’s HAES study are also featured. Regarding the CDC’s LEAN Works site, Heimpel cites data that contradicts the LEAN Works claims. Overall the article is well worth bookmarking, not only for a good overview of the data but also for the links to various studies.
One little-known item I thought interesting: “In the 1970s, the average BMI in the U.S. was 24. Today, the average BMI is only three points higher, at 27.”
The Fat on Film: How Obesity is Portrayed in Hollywood slideshow is also better than I expected.
*Full disclosure: Heimpel contacted me in email a few weeks ago to ask if I though the LEAN Works program was discriminatory. My response (summarized) is that I think LEAN Works would encourage a culture of discrimination and waste of resources for little or no benefit. (I did not expect to be quoted because I didn’t give my full name. :)