Being Fatter Could Actually Be Good for You

scaleToday in Health News That Will Spin Your Head Around: Forget fat because skinny is the new unhealthy. Put another way, it could be more unhealthy to be super-thin than to be obese. Now before we all get too excited about this news, let me explain.

This is based on a study that compared the mortality rates for people of all shapes and sizes. And holy beefcake: The mortality rate for underweight people is twice what it is for "normal" weight people. But the mortality rate for "severely" obese people is only 1.26 times higher. BUT! Only after researchers factored out obese people who have other health issues such as hypertension and diabetes.

So ... if you're considered obese but don't have high blood pressure or other major health issues, can you tell everyone who wants you to lose weight to shove it?

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This is what people like writer and dancer Ragan Chastain have been saying. She is one of many "fat positive" women who argues that we need to stop associating "fat" with "unhealthy." And I have to admit, I'm starting to agree.

Look, I'm no Kate Middleton, but I'm on the slim side of normal. So I don't have a personal stake in this argument. EXCEPT I have a few friends who would be considered overweight but who are also physically active and eat their veggies. They're some of the healthiest people I know. And knowing them has totally changed how I perceive the connection between weight and health.

There are still definitely health risks associated with obesity. But there are also health risks associated with extreme thinness that we're ignoring (proportionally because it's more socially acceptable to be thin). At the least I think we need to stop judging fat people and open our minds to the possibility that a fat person can be just as healthy as a slim person.

Do you think it's accurate to consider all fat people unhealthy?

 

Image via -Paul H-/Flickr

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