Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How bad for you is it to be fat?


So it is healthy to be fat and fit?


ネイット said...

I couldn't agree with this guy less.

I can't help but think he knows that he's manipulating the audience when he tosses out phrases like "a fit 240lb. guy". Outside of the NFL, how many of those are there?

The last three minutes of the video go to discussing how HARD it is to lose weight. It's always been hard to lose weight. And pretty well everyone that has managed to go from "fat" to "not" agrees that it's worth the effort. It would seem to be his unstated opinion that it isn't.

He finally says something I think is tough to argue: That extreme and unsafe weight loss measures are no good. But he implies that the government is telling us that they are.

This guy should be in politics, not pop-science.

brian said...

I think there are two issues here. One, BMI is a height-weight ratio. There is no indication/separation of the data regarding composition. W/o question, larger individuals w/ lower body fat are healthier.

And two, I think there is something to be said for a minimum amount of muscle tissue and it being protective, regardless of body fat and metabolic disorders.

Heavier people have more muscle tissue. It's required for movement. That extra muscle mass probably has some protective effect.

I haven't investigated this. It's just observations I've noticed in working with severely overweight people.

And I'm oversimplifying but I think somewhere in there is merit for the additional muscle tissue. And once that tissues starts operating in a manner other than activities of daily living, drastic improvements in health can be seen. Even when they are still on the high end of the bmi scale (> 30).

Those are my thoughts.


Bruce W. Perry said...

He makes about 50 percent of a valid point here (the social obsession with slimness), and omits other important issues involving excessive weight:

1) The explosion of Type 2 diabetes in the last 10-20 years, a largely preventable disease, and the huge medical costs involved with its treatment (although excessive weight may be one of the *symptoms* of Type 2 rather than the cause: overconsumption of refined carbs and sugar/fructose; and resulting insulin resistance)

2) The crushing of the joints that eventually takes place with obesity (although a lot of skinny people are getting their knees replaced these days too, partly because of excess running rather than weight!)

3) The "starving from within" that can take place among the obese (an element of insulin resistance; see the book Body By Science, which briefly discusses this state).

4) Cardiac remodeling; the heart gets bigger hauling all that extra weight around, and this probably isn't benign.

and on and on...I'm sure I've missed some. The point made by the previous comment hit the nail on the head, that muscle and lean body mass is most protective; the "excessive weight is benign" argument is a bit of a straw man.

Chris said...

It is good that this has prompted some discussion, but I think it needs to be read in the context of the Fat Head piece that I linked to under the video.

Before I understood that carbohydrates were making me fat, I’d try eating less, lose a few pounds, then stall, then give up. Then I’d look at myself in the mirror after my morning shower and think, “You fat @#$%! Why don’t you just stick to a diet and get rid of this blubber?” This is what 40 years of bad dietary advice has done to millions of people.

It is about carbs