From Your Health Journal…..”Well, a story appear to be resurfacing again that we wrote about last month. NPR did a great job in its story called Don’t Count On Extra Weight To Help You In Old Age by Scott Hensley. Recent research of nearly 100 published studies involving almost 3 million people found that being a little overweight was associated with a lower risk of death than having a normal weight or being obese. BMI, or Body Mass Index was used for the study. BMI takes height and weight measurements, and lets us know if someone’s weight falls within a healthy range. BMI has been controversial in many circles regarding its accuracy, but if you are looking for a quick, basic assessment of someone’s body type, it is a popular measure. The problem I have with this study – many people will read it and think it is now okay to go out and gain some weight, as they feel it may be healthy for them, and help them live longer. There is still a lot more research needed in this area to be 100% conclusive, as demographics, prior health of the study group, environment, and family history all play in big role in the accuracy of this study. Please visit the NPR web site (link provided below) to read the complete article. It gives many helpful opinions that could benefit some of us.”
From the article…..
Wouldn’t it be great, considering how many of us are overweight, if carrying a few extra pounds meant we’d live longer?
A recent analysis of nearly 100 published studies involving almost 3 million people found, surprisingly, that being a little overweight was associated with a lower risk of death than having a normal weight or being obese.
The sweet spot, as it were, appears to be a body mass index ranging from 25 to less than 30. The findings were published in early January in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.
But is the finding real? An editorial in the same journal pointed to problems with BMI as tool for assessing obesity. And it suggested that artifacts in the data might be another factor behind the results.
The lowest death rates in most studies have been seen for people with a BMI between 22 and 25, the editorial point out. The authors suggested that the most important findings from the analysis were that death rates were higher for the obese (BMI of 35 or more) and people who were quite underweight (BMI less than 18.5).
As luck would have it, Ryan Masters, a demographer at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, has been looking into some of the same data that have been cited in support of the so-called obesity paradox.
“I sort of gingerly came into this field and was blown away by the debate surrounding it,” he tells Shots. Some of the theories advanced to explain the paradox include a beneficial metabolic effect from modest fat reserves for the elderly and cushioning in case of falls, he says.
Masters decided to look at the data, and he found problems in plain sight.
Some of the studies excluded people who lived in institutions, like nursing homes, skewing the results toward healthier people. Frail people would be less likely to participate in surveys and studies, too, he says.
He also found a problem that he said reminded him of a report about falling cats in Manhattan. Researchers found, paradoxically, that cats falling from windows on the highest floors of apartment buildings were more likely to survive than those who stumbled out of window on middle floors, say the fifth or sixth floors.
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