A well-publicized study and a spate of popular books raise questions about the ill effects of being overweight. Their conclusions are probably wrong.
By Paul Raeburn
Two years ago Katherine M. Flegal, a researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, did a new statistical analysis of national survey data on obesity and came to a startling conclusion: mildly overweight adults had a lower risk of dying than those at so-called healthy weights..."[ Full text here ]
The article goes on to explain that the states are high in this debate...that a "major thrust of the nation’s disease prevention efforts are aimed at ending what orthodox researchers say is an epidemic of obesity." And if obesity is not the primary cause of heart disease and other serious illnesses, then efforts to trim American waistlines are entirely misplaced.
Language does matter -- I've heard it said that obesity is the last bastion of socially acceptable bigotry. I recently overheard some young women in Europe, standing outside a hotel having a cigarette break, saying that the reason they smoke is so that they don't 'get fat'. But there are worse than being 'fat' -- likely being sedentary. Or dead from lung cancer.