Being Fat Is Good Is Health Protection?!?

Perknose

Forum Director & Omnipotent Overlord
Forum Director
Oct 9, 1999
46,035
8,718
136
Lol. And, no, I'm not fat.

Researchers immediately began trying to explain this “obesity paradox”—or, more often, to explain it away. Carl Lavie, a cardiologist in Jefferson, Louisiana, was one of the first clinicians to describe the paradox. It took him over a year to find a journal that would publish his findings. “People thought, ‘This can’t be true. There’s got to be something wrong with their data’,” he told Quartz.

Since then, dozens of studies have confirmed the existence of the paradox. Being overweight is now believed to help protect patients with an increasingly long list of medical problems, including pneumonia, burns, stroke, cancer, hypertension, and heart disease. Researchers who have tried to show that the paradox is based on faulty data or reasoning have largely come up short. And while scientists do not yet agree on what the paradox means for health, most accept the evidence behind it. “It’s been shown consistently enough in different disease states,” says Gregg Fonarow, a cardiology researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles.
 

Strk

Lifer
Nov 23, 2003
10,198
4
76
From something done in Louisiana? Hmmm...

It would be interesting to see exactly what they find though since, at the same time, obesity does a number on your health too. The heart disease one in particular piqued my interest.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
57,407
7,591
126
Just heard that on Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me. What I get out of it is one should eat extreme amounts of food, but balance it with lots of exercise. Then you can be a fit fatty o_O
 

yottabit

Golden Member
Jun 5, 2008
1,363
229
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I wonder if it has to do with nutrition? Since not everyone is a health nut I would assume slightly overweight people probably get more vital nutrients in a day than skinny people, all else being equal. And that can come in really handy when your body is trying to fight off disease. If that were the case then skinny people could compensate by eating more and healthier foods around the time they get sick.

It kind of makes sense on some level, because if you take it to the extreme the skinnier you get the more sensitive your body becomes to many things. Think of body builders cutting to very low body fat percentage, or marathon runners carb loading before a race. They both need to be very careful to manage their food intakes at that very low body fat level.

I just re-read the quote and it says "Being overweight is now believed to help protect patients with an increasingly long list of medical problems" and the wording makes me think they are implying that they have established causation between the two. That seems like kind of a leap for me. Is that just poor wording from the article? The original study seems to only suggest the two things are correlated

I think it would be very hard to separate eating habits (nutrition) from weight in a study, without conducting massive planned experiments
 

Slew Foot

Lifer
Sep 22, 2005
12,381
96
86
Article writen by a fat SJW.

"We compared anorexic, drug addict, smokers with lung cancer and found out that slightly overweight people are healthier!"
 

tortillasoup

Golden Member
Jan 12, 2011
1,977
3
81
I wonder if it has to do with nutrition? Since not everyone is a health nut I would assume slightly overweight people probably get more vital nutrients in a day than skinny people, all else being equal. And that can come in really handy when your body is trying to fight off disease. If that were the case then skinny people could compensate by eating more and healthier foods around the time they get sick.

It kind of makes sense on some level, because if you take it to the extreme the skinnier you get the more sensitive your body becomes to many things. Think of body builders cutting to very low body fat percentage, or marathon runners carb loading before a race. They both need to be very careful to manage their food intakes at that very low body fat level.

I just re-read the quote and it says "Being overweight is now believed to help protect patients with an increasingly long list of medical problems" and the wording makes me think they are implying that they have established causation between the two. That seems like kind of a leap for me. Is that just poor wording from the article? The original study seems to only suggest the two things are correlated

I think it would be very hard to separate eating habits (nutrition) from weight in a study, without conducting massive planned experiments

Pretty much this. It's always amazing to me how researchers can't figure this stuff out on their own.
 

MongGrel

Lifer
Dec 3, 2013
38,751
3,068
121
Just heard that on Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me. What I get out of it is one should eat extreme amounts of food, but balance it with lots of exercise. Then you can be a fit fatty o_O

I keep forgetting to listen to that these days, might have to listen to some archived ones.

Yeah, I'm a bit overweight, but not dramatically.
 

HamburgerBoy

Lifer
Apr 12, 2004
27,112
318
126
Just heard that on Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me. What I get out of it is one should eat extreme amounts of food, but balance it with lots of exercise. Then you can be a fit fatty o_O

I thought it was the opposite of that. Both excessive eating and constant strenuous exercise take their toll on the body. Although searching it seems like it's a much bigger factor with strength athletes rather than endurance athletes, so maybe there are more confounding things there (like anabolic steroid abuse or head injuries).
 

Slew Foot

Lifer
Sep 22, 2005
12,381
96
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You don't see many old fat people, at all. I'll wait this one out.

Theres a reason the study is in some backwater journal, the real scientists know its full of bunk. Take a look at your average population of 70+ year olds and tell me how many porkers you find.
 

tcsenter

Lifer
Sep 7, 2001
18,349
259
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IIRC, I remember reading about the initial study a couple years ago, that it was protection from death or serious complications in senior and elderly persons who get sick. IOW, if you end-up in the ICU because you are ill, you are less likely to die there from complications of that illness if you have some fat stores on you, relative to persons who are very lean. I think we're talking protection from death and severe complications among people who get sick, not protection from getting sick to begin with.
 

Gibsons

Lifer
Aug 14, 2001
12,530
35
91
okay, here's some data.
OBESITY_PARADOX_graph.jpg


Looks like it's kind of selected - lots of overweight have died out by the time you can start to see the effect.

Also, based on BMI, a pretty myopic way to measure, imo.
 

Meghan54

Lifer
Oct 18, 2009
11,527
5,045
136
Theres a reason the study is in some backwater journal, the real scientists know its full of bunk. Take a look at your average population of 70+ year olds and tell me how many porkers you find.


Not all of this is in backwater journals............

The researcher who did most to kick off the debate, and in the process became the object of much of the pushback it generated, is an epidemiologist at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named Katherine Flegal.

Flegal is a meticulous researcher: her most recent analysis incorporated data from almost 100 studies and close to three million people. It was published by the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association.
 

Joepublic2

Golden Member
Jan 22, 2005
1,114
6
76
Since they just went by BMI I wouldn't necessarily say it's just being fatter, though; it includes active people that have a bit more muscle tissue than their peers as well (not to mention in all probability a healthier lifestyle). It's probably impossible to suss out exactly which one it is or both however as nearly everybody's body stores a bit of fat when they gain muscle, especially as they get older, unless they're on an extreme diet/taking drugs.

Then you can be a fit fatty o_O

Well statistically I think it's healthier than being a thin sedentary person. That lack of physical exertion is a real killer.
 

destrekor

Lifer
Nov 18, 2005
28,799
359
126
I haven't look at the actual stats, but to a certain degree this can make sense.


You can carry extra weight without carrying too much extra visceral fat. Visceral fat in the interior abdomen has nasty health consequences.

A little extra padding all over the body usually means adipose fat. Adipose fat is very good for you, it actually leads a whole heck of a lot to the body's ability to defend against many health maladies.

If you got yourself to an overweight state but generally eat quite healthy (just a little too much), you could be doing your part (diet-wise) to protect your cardiovascular health.

But what they are likely not including are the overweight people who eat sloppy. Those people definitively have worse cardiovascular health due to poor nutrition and excessive visceral fat.
 

Slew Foot

Lifer
Sep 22, 2005
12,381
96
86
lol, a bmi of between 18 and 26 appears to be healthiest. 26 is pretty dang lean.


edit: plus im guessing a decent amount of the low bmi older crowd is in the dying of cancer category.
 
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