Study: Obese people may live just as long as thin ones
August 16, 2011 | 3:54 pm
(Updated: August 16, 2011 | 5:33 pm)
We’re constantly hearing complaints about how America’s obesity crisis is a drag on the healthcare system, and an epidemic that promises to shorten our lifespans and increase public expenditures on health services – with the blame often directed towards specific individuals or groups. That’s something you’re especially likely to come across when talking to gay men.
But a new study shows that some obese people may not be at such a high risk of health problems; those who have no secondary diseases like diabetes or hypertension seem unaffected by their body weight. Obese people without co-factors had, in fact, less incidence of heart disease than those of ordinary body weight.
The study also showed that obese people who attempt dieting and frequently lose and re-gain weight are less healthy than those who maintain a consistent – but high – body weight.
It revealed that obese people who eat fruits and vegetables, and get a moderate amount of exercise, can get by without the shortened lifespan and increased levels of disease we typically associate with being overweight.
The findings do not give obese individuals a “free license” to gain weight, Kuk said. Rather, the study suggests that maintaining weight, eating right and exercising may, in the long run, be better than trying to lose weight, Kuk said.
Nor does it mean you should toss healthy eating aside and eat a bunch of salty processed foods; those things still lead to problems like high blood pressure whether obesity is present or not, which were among the co-factors determined to lead to early death. Instead, it means you may not really be able to judge a person’s health by looking at them or putting them on a scale.