Sure, order that slice of cherry pie
The Kansas City Star
Well, this takes the pressure off.
Just as some of us were weakening on our New Year’s resolutions (it’s been three days, after all), along comes a new report suggesting that lugging around a few extra pounds might not be such a bad thing.
Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at 97 separate studies tracking adult men and women in 10 nations, including the United States. They concluded — no surprise — that significantly obese people have a greater chance of dying prematurely than persons of normal weight, based on body mass index, or BMI.
But the findings contained a surprise. People classified as overweight, or even slightly obese, weren’t at risk of premature death. In fact, the data showed they actually were at lower risk of dying early than persons classified as normal weight.
So can we bring the cookies and eggnog mix out of hiding?
Not really. Experts already are challenging the research as incomplete. It doesn’t take into account important factors such as age, gender and fitness levels, they note, and it doesn’t provide explanations as to why the slightly overweight contingent fares so well. One possible rationale: Overweight and mildly obese people get treatment earlier for conditions such as high blood pressure because doctors are on the lookout for it.
The research could be well used as a reason to avoid crash diets. Carrying a few extra pounds around for awhile isn’t deadly, and is probably healthier than yo-yo dieting. But don’t expect your doctor to be prescribing plumpness any time soon.