You can be fit and fat

Research has shown that, as a measure of health, weight isn't always a good indicator of how you're doing.

The study controlled for a variety of factors, including age, smoking, and certain other health problems and concluded that "fitness, not weight, was most important in predicting mortality risk."

The study found that half of adults classified as "overweight" and one third of adults classified as "obese" were metabolically healthy. One in four of "normal weight" adults were NOT.

From the Well blog:

“We use ‘overweight’ almost indiscriminately sometimes,” said MaryFran Sowers, a co-author of the study and professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan. “But there is lots of individual variation within that, and we need to be cognizant of that as we think about what our health messages should be.”

The blog closed with a quotation from researcher Stephen Blair, at the University of South Carolina:

“Why is it such a stretch of the imagination,” he said, “to consider that someone overweight or obese might actually be healthy and fit?”

*Who was, incidentally, my professor in graduate school. Her class gave me more gray hairs than any other. Her involvement in this study definitely improves my view of her, but not as much as if she had written clear guidelines for our assignments.

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Anonymous said...

I think Stephen Blair is great. Why IS IT such a stretch of the imagination to think of someone as fat and fit. I mean what about all the power lifters, long distance swimmers, shot putters, rugby and american football players etc etc. It is so crazy.

Carrie Arnold said...

Because...obviously...fat people are supposed to be lazy!

It's such a stereotype and it really pisses me off. And Stephen Blair rocks my socks.

Ali said...

I'm going to use your post title as my mantra today when I got to my nephew's 1st birthday party and get to listen to my in-laws all harp on my husband over and over and over again about how "fat" he is, and how he just has to "eat less and exercise more."

Carrie Arnold said...

By all means, use the title!

Or you could just say what I would be tempted to: bugger off! :)

Ali said...

Okay, I just had to come back and say: The moms at this birthday party? I think I have a higher BMI than ALL of them. COMBINED. (I'm not a mom, for the record.) I don't know if this is a Manhattan Mom thing or what, but oh my god, I wanted to walk around giving them all my nutritionist's card. Seriously.

*you can be ill and thin*
the more depressing title for this post.

Carrie Arnold said...

Sorry to hear that about the party. And yes, that is the perfect pessimist's (or realist's) title for the post.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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