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Sunday, November 27th 2005

Overweight and Healthy

Think back to the report that revised the deaths attributable to obesity downward.

With apparently faulty information the government took action, lowered the BMI at which people are ‘fat,’ and

Seven years ago, 35 million Americans became overweight literally overnight.

America suddenly became fatter when the federal government changed the definition of overweight, based on a calculation called body mass index.

The question, addressed in the Chicago Sun Times article quoted above, becomes should so much stress be placed on lowering people’s weight as a preventitive health measure?

[N]utritionist Paul Ernsberger of Case Western Reserve University thinks the overweight threshold is too low.

He notes that a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that people who had with a BMI between 25 and 30 did not experience any increased risk in mortality. If anything, they had a slightly lower chance of dying.

Ernsberger thinks the overweight cutoff should be raised to 30.

The current cutoff of 25 “sets up people for failure. The goal may be admirable, but is not realistic,” he said.

Ernsberger and other critics say researchers have a vested interest in expanding the number of people defined as overweight by setting a low BMI cutoff. The worse the problem appears, the more funding they will receive from the weight-loss industry and government.


Right on cue, and thanks to Kevin, MD, The UK’s NHS is going to refuse some more elective surgeries, such as knee and hip replacements, to obese people. A Scotsman article sheds light on what it believes is the last PC discrimination, against those with ‘self inflicted’ health problems.