Friday, August 15, 2008

Risk Factors Vs. Heart Attacks and Deaths

The following post was first featured on a NY Times blog -

An important new study found a quarter of thin people, half of overweight, and three quarters of obese people have at least 2 risk factors for cardiovascular health. But let us remember that a risk factor is very different from an “event” such as a heart attack, or death – which is the bottom line.

A huge government study called NHANES found that “overweight” people had 86,094 FEWER deaths than “normal” weight people! “Underweight” people had 33,746 MORE deaths than those in the “normal” range, which remained stable even after eliminating smokers and other confounding variables! " Obesity” (BMI > or =30) was associated with 111,909 excess deaths, primarily due to heart disease, diabetes and certain forms of cancer. Overweight adults (BMI of 25 to 29.9) had no higher risk of dying than those of normal weight and perhaps a lower risk.

Study after study from around the world confirms that the arbitrary label of “overweight” has the lowest mortality rate, i.e. in China, 170,000 adults: Gu and colleagues found lower mortality in the overweight category than in the normal weight. Results in Finland, Germany, and other countires confirm these results.

Furthermore, Aug 5th Reuters- Daily News reported that overweight and obese patients with heart failure seem to have a lower risk of dying than their normal-weight counterparts, according to a review of published studies involving more than 28,000 heart failure patients who were followed for an average of nearly three years. These results are consistent with previous studies.

We know that the vast majority of people who lose weight gain it back, attesting to the strength of our genetic set point. The Nurses' Health Study II provided information on intentional weight losses of 2476 young and middle-aged women and found that weight cycling was associated with greater weight gain, less physical activity, and a higher prevalence of binge eating. Other research has found negative effects on blood pressure, cholesterol and other risk factors.

Living a healthy lifestyle by eliminating transfats, moving one’s body, and listening to bodily cues of hunger and satiety will maximize genetic potential for health – regardless of weight.

Feel free to check out my blogpost on, which is featured today on their home page:\'t+Bowl+Over+Those+Last+10+lbs.&blid=11991

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