Doing The Math: What’s The Deal With Weight?

Two recent studies, a Canadian one and a Japanese one, have found that slightly overweight people live longer than healthy weight folks. The two separate groups of researchers said they expected both underweight and obese people to have many more health concerns than healthy weight people, but they were surprised that a few extra pounds could protect people from an early death. However, the researchers warn against healthy weight people bulking up. “Our study only looked at mortality, not at quality of life, and there are many negative health consequences associated with obesity, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes,” said Kaplan, a professor of Community Health at Portland State University that participated in the Canadian study.

Now I’m really confused. Society says thin is in. Health professionals say to stay within an ideal body mass index. Researchers say a little cushion keeps death from pushing — but don’t do anything with these findings. So I’m going to weigh the positives and negatives of each weight category to see which one is really ideal.

    Being underweight…

    …can increase the risk of infertility in women -3
    …will allow the person to fit sample size clothing +1
    …increases the likelihood of injury, fatigue, and sickness -2
    …can bring societal acceptance +1
    …can make the person irritable and inattentive -1
    …can cause a preterm labor in pregnant women -3
    …increases the likelihood of contracting pneumonia -2

    Total = -9

    Being a healthy weight…

    …can decrease your life expectancy -3
    …increases physical activity +2
    …decreases guilt for indulging in favorite foods +1
    …provides enough energy +2
    …can increase self-esteem +3

    Total = +5

    Being slightly overweight…

    …can increase life expectancy +2
    …can lead to obesity -3
    …slows down metabolism -2

    Total = -3

    Being obese…

    …increases likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and coronary artery disease -3
    …increases the likelihood of being shunned by society -1
    …limits places to buy clothes -2
    …makes physical activity, especially sex, awkward and difficult -2
    …increases the potential to be embarrassed while traveling by plane -2

    Total = -10

Well there you have it, according to my highly scientific evaluation, a healthy weight is the ideal, regardless of the two studies.

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