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Carrying a Few Extra Pounds May Not Be a Bad Thing

Well, this news has come in just in time. Now that candy-driven Halloween is over and we're preparing to gorge ourselves on Thanksgiving, a new study shows that being 25 pounds overweight doesn't appear to raise your risk of dying of cancer or heart disease. Having a little extra weight may help you to survive various illnesses such as emphysema, pneumonia and certain injuries. Those between the ages of 25 and 59 benefit the most from being a little chubby.

Researchers aren't sure why extra padding may help. Some say that extra weight may provide “additional nutritional reserves.” University of South Carolina obesity researcher Steven Blair, believes that it's possible to be fat and fit. He feels that Americans have been slapped in the face by fears of the obesity epidemic. While it's true that many Americans are obese, the number of deaths attributed to it has been exaggerated.

There's more to this study though. To hear about it then

You see, a little extra weight may not cause any problems, but being 30 or more pounds over the recommended weight for your height categorizes you as obese. Carrying that much extra weight around can put you at risk for diabetes, kidney disease, certain kinds of cancer, and high blood pressure and cholesterol that could lead to heart disease.

Many experts feel that this study is just the tip of the iceberg, and that more research needs to be done to address whether or not cancer and heart disease occurs more often in people who are overweight, or if genetics or other lifestyle choices have more of an effect.

So the point here is that a few extra pounds won't kill you, but 30 pounds or more could be detrimental to your health. Don't obsess about being ultra thin because it doesn't necessarily make you healthy. Be sure to eat a diet full of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains and lean proteins. Try to exercise regularly, and that should keep you at a healthy weight.

Fit's Tips: Your BMI (Body Mass Index) measures your body fat based on your height and weight. If you're not sure what a healthy BMI is for your height, check out Fit's Calculator.


Soniabonya Soniabonya 9 years
5'4 and 145. According to the BMI I'm healthy? -shrug- It doesn't matter what I weigh as long as *I* feel healthy and fit. I am not going to sacrifice my curves just to be thin or gain any more weight because of risk factors (injuries). Could I stand to lose a couple more pounds? :shrug: Perhaps. Could I maintain my current weight? Sure. But weight is not my driving force. I just want to be able to walk without breathing hard and not hurt a knee while working out with too much pressure.
krampalicious krampalicious 9 years
those are great numbers, but how many of those patients experienced complications, historygal? how many can only sip their food now? how many gained back the weight and then some? how many died? i agree that excessive obesity is clearly unhealthy and dangerous. but you cannot deny that an obsession to be thin at any cost is also unhealthy and dangerous. i'm not saying that i don't need to drop a few pounds--i could definitely stand to lose 20 or so. but don't tell me i'm unhealthy and that my family eats like crap and that i must be doing something wrong because it is all untrue and downright rude of you to say so. you don't know anything about me or my family or my history or my life, nor do you know anything about anyone else who might be a little relieved that we're not going to drop dead of a heart attack because we're 20 lbs overweight, contrary to all the popular pro-thin propaganda being shoved down our throats endlessly. it's these vast generalizations and narrowminded, condescending attitudes that are doing nothing to help our nation's "war on obesity."
Historygal3 Historygal3 9 years
I don't understand why so man yof you seem to get thin and healthy confused. Nobody is advocating that you starve yourself. But if you are really eating healthy and doing physical activity than you would be at a healthy weight; bottom line. If you think you are doing that and still have an extra 20lbs than you're doing something wrong. BMI is not the best indicator of health (BFP is better), but unfortunatley is actually tend sto underestimate you're risk. If you actually stopped to read the study than you would have seen that it said people 10-20lbs overweight are less likley to die from diabetes and pnemoneia, but that usually because they die of heart disease before the cancer or diabetes can kill them. You can be fat and happy; I think its great that yo have such a great body image unfortunatley you can't be fat and healthy. Final thoughts: 1)BMI is not a narrow set of numbers; in fact its usually a range of 20-30lbs lbs. 2)Obesity is not genetic: Your whole family is fat because you all eat like crap. 3)The weightloss industry makes so much money because 60% of our country is obese. And just so you know I'm not blowing steam: I'm the Senior Health Educator for Tidewater Bariatrics. In the last 6 months my patients have lost over 1300lbs.
nikodarling nikodarling 9 years
Good for you kramp! You sound like you know your own body very well and I think that is very important. I can understand where you are coming from I used to have the opposite problem, until I was 25 I was stick thin but very healthy and I got so tired about people trying to define me with numbers and telling me things about myself and my body that they couldn't possibly know. BMI does not necessarily equal health. Its about your lifestyle and the choices you make, and as this article points out we do not necessarily have to be "thin" to have healthy bodies.
krampalicious krampalicious 9 years
purty, i think the underlying problem is not with me, but with a society obsessed with thinness at any cost under the guise of "health." why does the weight loss industry make billions of dollars annually? at that rate, we should all be within our perfect BMI range. the fact of the matter is that my natural body type might just be a little extra curvy. and i'll lose the euphemism and get real here: maybe i'm supposed to be a little overweight. a little fat. and instead of obsessing over it and trying to change myself to fit narrow guidelines developed in the 1800's for insurance purposes, such as BMI, or obscene entertainment-industry standards of thinness and beauty, i've done something that society wants no woman to ever, ever do: i've become okay with myself as i am. i've never been "thin." i started getting hips in the fifth grade, and it's taken over a decade for me to finally come to terms with them and accept them. there are a very few naturally thin people with small bone structure in my family--we are tall, robust people. i got my hips from my mom and both my grandmothers, along with a big vocabulary, a stubborn nature, and a love of dancing. i guess my problem is that i don't define myself based on a number on a scale, like society wants me to. i try to live healthy, but i also want to live my life how i want. not on a diet, not miserable over my weight. i have a lot more important things to do.
ditorres ditorres 9 years
I realize that weight is a hot-button issue and that there are many emotions attached to it. Let's just say that only posted my thoughts because I think it is important to look at the whole body of information and not just one study. When looking into anything, look to multiple sources, multiple methods and multiple theories. We run into problems when we make judgments based on incomplete information.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 9 years
That is I guess it's O.K. not to sweat being just a few pounds over where we should be.
Aiyaruk Aiyaruk 9 years
Kramp - I completely get where you're coming from! I'm 20 lbs overweight. I have no idea where it came from - certainly not lifestyle. I'm much more "in shape" than I was when I was 20 lbs lighter, and I definitely feel better and I get sick less. I eat very well (fresh veggies, lean proteins), and I've found that the only way to shed those 20 lbs is to stop working out and starve myself.. NOT an option! So I figure I'll just live with it. After all, I can outrun most of the "skinny" girls anyway. I think there's definitely an extreme mentality when people start looking at a few extra pounds as something terrifying and sickening. There's a difference between having meat on your bones and being obese, and I for one am not a fan of today's anorexia culture. Diet and exercise should mean more than a number on a scale.
purrtykitty purrtykitty 9 years
kramp, i admire how well you are committed to staying healthy. but if you are doing all that and not losing any weight, then do you think maybe there is an underlying problem (assuming you are trying to get down to a healthy BMI)? i'm not suggesting that you must be stick thin like a celebrity, but like the counter-argument to the article says a person who is in the overweight category is a much higher risk of slipping into the obese category as they age.
nikodarling nikodarling 9 years
I think it depends more on the person, their lifestyle and their genetic makeup. I know people who are overweight who eat very healthy and exercize regularly and are doing great all around except for their bmi. I know a few skinny folk who eat garbage and don't exercize and have health problems as a result. I am a big believer in nutrition and fitness. The weight issue needs to focus on whether those extra pounds are from inactivity and unhealthy eating habits or if they are just the way you were made. To those of you like krampalicious that aren't naturally rail thin I think if you are eating healthy, getting regular excercize, and have no long standing health issues there is nothing wrong with having a few extra pounds. Keep up the good work everyone!
sarafisher sarafisher 9 years
Kramp- I think we're probably in the same boat- trying to be good and healthier, but it certainly gets harder the older I get (says the 28 yr old!) I just look at my Grandmothers and they both have the large guts...I just don't want to look/feel like that when I'm 80! I don't think you should start smoking again, silly~ :)
krampalicious krampalicious 9 years
i work out 3-4 times a week and eat fairly healthy: mostly organic, lean meats, whole grains. i'm trying to add in more fruits and vegetables, and i need to work on my sweets, but i don't deprive myself but i don't gorge, either. and i'm still "overweight" for my height according to my BMI. so by your definition, Historygal, are those habits unhealthy? should i deprive myself of dreaded calories and punish myself over-exercising just to fit some blanket statement of "health"? i was a few pounds lighter when i smoked, so should i take that up again just so i can lose a few pounds and be "healthier"?
sarafisher sarafisher 9 years
historygal3, I agree with what you're saying about knee replacements, headaches (I have them), etc.! I'm just sensitive about being overweight as it is and how a bunch of people work with obsessing about size, weight, dieting, and giving all kinds of advice I didn't ask for. I don't want to do a fad diet or starve myself, I want to eat healthy food, work out, take my vitamins, and live a long life! It's hard to look at yourself when in high school I weighed 30 lbs less...10 years ago and not get discouraged! It's hard to stay away from the beer too. :)
Historygal3 Historygal3 9 years
The comments have nothing to do with body or fat acceptance but with health. The habits that make you 20lbs overweight arn't healthy which means you're not healthy. That 20 extra pounds is 140 extra pounds on your knees when going down stairs or running; so why you might not be concerned about heart disease how do you feel about knee replacment. None of the commenters are endorsing an unhealthy weight either. And as someone who works for a bariatric clinic I tend to agree with ditorres and that the number of deaths attributted to obesiety are underestimated. Extra weight doesn't just cause hypertension and heart disease; it also cause headaches, low energy, infertility, sleep apnea, and joint pain among others.
sarafisher sarafisher 9 years
krampalicious- I agree. I'm currently 15-20 lbs overweight, but I'm trying to get in better shape. I don't look the best, but I usually eat right and try to exercise. Metabolism's a B****! Every media outlet shows girls that look 25 lbs UNDERweight... I don't want to look like I did 10 years ago anymore- I looked anorexic. I'm not condoning being 25 lbs overweight, but it made me feel a little better to know I probably won't die of heart disease or cancer.
krampalicious krampalicious 9 years
once again, i am completely unsurprised at the responses on here. i was going to say something positive, but apparently body (and fat) acceptance isn't exactly de rigeur on this corner of the internet, even for a "health" site. i guess i'll just go back to starving and being miserable and hating myself in a vain effort to achieve a body ideal i'll never be. that's how things are supposed to be, right?
Porkchopz Porkchopz 9 years
Um, no thanks. I'll go without the 25 extra lbs, thankyouverymuch.
melda melda 9 years
interesting anyways!
ditorres ditorres 9 years
i would look at this research finding in context with other research studies. The Mayo Clinic recently released a finding that a modest weight gain of 9 lbs of visceral fat can lead to endothelial dysfunction. This means that the functioning of blood vessel lining becomes impaired. This is a predictor for heart attacks and strokes. The good thing is that with weight loss endothelial dysfunction disappeared. So I wouldn't gorge myself this Thanksgiving thinking that I'll be protecting myself from disease. Also, I would question the statement that deaths attributed to obesity have been exaggerated. I would tend to believe that it's just the opposite.
tralalala tralalala 9 years
I think it is fine to have a little bit of extra weight. That being said, I think this article sends the wrong message. I know a lot of people who would see something like that and think it would be ok to work out less and eat worse, which as other people pointed out would probably push them past the 25 lbs mark.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
When I was 25 lbs overweight, I don't think I was healthy at all. I ate a lot of junk food and never worked out. And those habits DID lead me to gain an additional 30 lbs, putting me at 55 pounds or so overweight. So yeah, I kind of agree with babychloe...the habits that would make me 25 lbs overweight could lead me to being a lot more overweight than that. I don't like being overweight at all, though. I can run a lot better and I feel better in clothes when I'm thinner. But it's good to know that being a little pudgy isn't the end of the world.
OhMyShannon OhMyShannon 9 years
I can't believe that people are endorsing being over weight. Its bad for your health: period. "Nutritional Reserve?" WTF? That's what they're calling fat these days....uugghh.
smarler smarler 9 years
Oh, I know what weighing 25 lbs more looks like on me...and we are NOT going back there.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Whoa, 25 pounds overweight is a lot. I couldn't imagine weighing 25 more pounds then I do now!
Babychloe Babychloe 9 years
Even if studies say it's ok, I'd rather not carry around that much extra weight. The bad eating habits and lack of exercise that would lead me to carry those extra pounds would probably end up pushing me over the 30 lb. mark eventually. I'm speaking personally here.
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