Being overweight can extend life, rather than shorten it. Come on, get serious, who said that?
Well, it was stated by an article in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in January 2013. The research done by a number of USA universities and the National Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study was carried out over nearly two decades into the relationship between body weight and death risk. The review of 97 studies including 2.88 million people, questions the notion that people of normal weight live longest.
Overall, this new research shows people who carry a few extra pounds tended to live longer than those who are either normal weight or very obese
An additional study concluded that people with Type 2 Diabetes of normal weight, had a higher mortality rate than diabetic adults who were over-weight or obese. JAMA August 8, 2012 Vol 308 No 6
Professor Achim Peters of Lubeck University in northern Germany, a doctor studying obesity for over three decades with his colleagues, states in his book 'Overweight Myths - Why Fat People Live Longer';
"Fat people live longer than their skinny counterparts because their brains get more nourishment under stress."
Professor Achim PetersWhy is this so ?
Apparently it's all to do with stress . People react to stressful, uncertain circumstances in two different ways.
1. Some eat and become fat
2. Others refuse food and become thin
The ones who become really ill are the thin ones. The fat ones are, in comparison with the thin ones, much healthier.
• Thin people's brains, when stressed, take nutrients from their organs and muscles
• This is riskier than being fat and effects life expectancy
• Fat people don't have such risks as they are better nourished
The standard test to determine if one is overweight is the Body Mass Index (BMI) or Quetelex index.
It is a measure for body shape based on an individual's weight and height. It was devised between 1830 and 1850 by the Belgian, Adolphe Quetelet.
Body mass index is defined as the individual's body mass divided by the square of their height.
Quetelet died in Brussels in 1874, aged 78. This was when life expectance in the 19th century was 47 for a man and 50 for a woman. Approximately 25% of all children died before they were 5 years old
BMI = mass(kg) / (height(m))2
or mass(lb) / (height(in))2 x 703*
BMI range - kg/m2
|Very severely underweight||less than 15|
|Severely underweight||from 15.0 to 16.0|
|Underweight||from 16.0 to 18.5|
|Normal (healthy weight)||from 18.5 to 25|
|Overweight||from 25 to 30|
|Obese I (moderately obese)||from 30 to 35|
|Obese II (severely obese)||from 35 to 40|
|Obese III (morbidly obese)||over 40|
Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor once said: "A woman can't be too rich, or too thin."
Wallis, (previously Wallis Simpson and Wallis Spencer, born Bessie Wallis Warfield); was an American socialite whose third husband, Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom and the Dominions, abdicated his throne to marry her.
Wallis Simpson was thin and died in 1986 aged 89.
Duke & Duchess of Windsor meeting Hitler in 1937
Alexander Leaf, a versatile physician and research scientist, former Massachusetts General Hospital, Chief of Medicine, who was an early advocate of diet and exercise to prevent heart disease, and who travelled the world to make important discoveries about increasing human longevity.
He was probably best known for his work on heart disease, advocating prevention through exercise and diet, particularly foods low in animal fat and sodium.
Dr. Leaf's research into the cellular biology of heart disease led him to undertake a series of expeditions in the early 1970s to study longevity in parts of the world where heart disease was rare. He concluded that people who lived in mountainous places, worked outdoors into their old age and consumed local food high in vegetable content and low in animal fat, tended to live very long and healthy lives, free of heart disease.
The JAMA article concludes: Life expectancy in people who were overweight or 'mildly' obese, were 6% less likely to have died by the end of the study period, than those of healthy weight.
What the JAMA article doesn't address is that longevity isn't the only measure of health. When people move from 'overweight'; to 'normal', their blood pressure, blood sugar, GERD (heartburn) symptoms, sleep, mood, sexual function, skin conditions, arthritis, breathing and cholesterol all frequently improve. Sometimes enough to allow them to stop taking medications.
Even if you don't lose weight, but perform mild exercise and follow a healthy diet (increased fruits and vegetables) your health will improve.
One of the pioneers of this concept, Alexander Leaf, died in Boston on 24 December 2012. The cause of death was complications of Parkinson's disease. Dr Leaf was 92.Osteoporosis Statins