Sunday, May 3, 2009

Are There Any Benefits to Being Overweight?

Two recent studies that analyzed data surrounding deaths found that those who are overweight (not obese, but overweight with a body mass index of 25-30) had a lower mortality rate than those who are normal weight or underweight.  There was no increased risk of death from heart disease or cancer in this group and a decreased mortality rate for many other conditions including pneumonia, emphysema, injuries, and infections.

It appears that having 20 to 30 extra pounds provides some extra protection against illness and can help you recover from injuries and infections.

Does this mean that you should try to gain weight or to eat unhealthy?  No, of course not!  What it does show is that there is some exaggeration in the aforementioned health crisis involving those who are overweight.  Everyone should do their best to eat a nutritious diet focusing on foods that make them feel great.  Everyone should move to the best of their ability.  The benefits of a healthy diet and regular exercise are well proven.  What we shouldn't do is worry about our weight.  What we shouldn't do is judge others for the shape of their bodies.  What we shouldn't do is fail at doing what is best for us because of an obsession with reaching a size or shape that is not only perhaps unattainable but also may be unhealthier than the shape that we naturally fall into!

1 comment:

Carla Cunningham said...

I can relate to this article as I know from first hand experience just how hard it is to lose weight, and to maintain it. I wrote a book called `Alone in the Storm,’ which has recently been published, and it is about an overweight woman who subconsciously put on the weight to protect herself from being hurt by love. She struggles with her weight problems, and in the end she manages to overcome them, but not before she learns some important lessons in life, and realizes that in order to find love, you have to first love yourself.

Carla Cunningham, Leeds UK
Published Book Author of Alone in the Storm (I’m on FBook)
The website for my book is -