PolySciFi Blog

Friday, April 22, 2005


More BMI/Fat Industry Silliness

This TCS article (h/t puppyblender) makes the fat industry look even worse.
But in a study released this week by the CDC and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association ("Excess Deaths Associated with Underweight, Overweight, and Obesity"), the public health community has finally owned up to their massive fib by acknowledging that the number of deaths due to obesity in the US is closer to 26,000 not 400,000 as previously reported. This means that if these numbers are correct -- which is questionable -- then obesity goes from being the leading or second leading cause of death to perhaps the seventh leading source of premature mortality.....

Second, for individuals aged 25-59 the risks of premature death from being underweight are substantially greater than those of being overweight and they are also slightly greater than those of being obese. For those aged 60-69 the risk of dying from being underweight is much higher than from being even significantly obese, that is with a BMI > 35. Again, the total number of premature deaths due to obesity is 25, 814, while the mortality attributable to being underweight is 37, 746. If anything this points to an epidemic of not fat but thin caused death.
My comments:

1) I wonder how much this would change if BMI weren't such a lousy statistic

2) I wonder how many of the deaths due to being underweight are symptomatic of other problems, i.e., anorexia is clearly worse for you than being a giant tub of lard (unless you're this big), but there just aren't that many anorexics. So I wonder a little about their methodologies. (I'll try to get the paper this weekend)

3) The low number of deaths due to obesity seems in line with other trends noted in the article of lower incidences of high cholesterol (perhaps thanks to Lipitor?) and no increase in the rate of diabetes.

4) If you're obese (in the traditional fat sense) you should still lose some weight (but don't worry too much about hitting the "normal" range) and get some light exercise (a little cardiovascular exercise goes a long ways).

5) In the meantime, go eat a slice of cheesecake, mastrubate, and get some light exercise.


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