More on obesity and mortality
I agree that it is still a good idea to avoid obesity.
A new study also suggests that being obese is not a good idea. In this study, not published yet, obesity (BMI 30-35) was associated with an increased risk of death compared to normal weight (BMI 20-25) at least in women:
Note that the follow up was a bit shorter but had a bigger sample in this study than the recent one published in JAMA and that the risk of death was increased for the obese relative to the normal weight in this study, unlike in the JAMA study.
She compared normal-weight women, who have a BMI below 25, with three categories of obesity: Class 1, a BMI of 30 to 34.9; Class 2, a BMI of 35 to 39.9; and Class 3, a BMI of 40 or higher. . . .
McTigue tracked the women's health over five years.
White women with Class 1 obesity had a 19% greater risk of death in that period than did normal-weight women. The extremely obese had double the risk of death.
Of course this study isn't published so it is hard to critique.
As the article points out, obese is pretty heavy: for a 5'4" women it is >175lbs.
I don't doubt that many people could benefit health-wise by taking off a few lbs. What I do think is that those who are "overweight" but healthy (eat well, exercise, have a relatively high lean body mass) are just as healthy as those who are skinny and we should stop making them (and I include myself among them) feel guilty.