Obese isn’t as bad as being underweight, news flash they’re both still bad.

Obese isn’t as bad as being underweight?!

A new study by the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine is showing results that go contrary to what we’ve been being told about ideal weight. As soon as I read the title I also went into my skeptic mode.

The study showed that it may in fact be more dangerous to be underweight than to be obese unless the obesity is extreme in nature. Gizmodo in commenting on the article pointed out:

Jerant and his team surveyed almost 51,000 Americans of all ages over a period of six years to gather data for their research. Upon analysis, it transpired that those participants with BMI that determined them “underweight” showed a risk of death twice as high as the “normal” participants. Weirdly, it was considerably safer to be “severely obese” than underweight. Those with a BMI classifying them as such were just 1.26 times as likely to die as “normals”.

What I hope doesn’t happen is unhealthy overweight people decide to use this as an excuse. I heard about a march that was protesting against bans on unhealthy drinks where parents marched with their kids drinking big gulps. Msnbc showed pictures of it in their photoblog.


Now let me be clear, I’m all for personal responsibility and freedom to choose.

I’m also for being smart.

In the next few years “couch potato syndrome” will kill or contribute to more deaths than smoking or trauma! Sedentary lifestyle causes more deaths than smoking.

Now, even though I don’t believe we should all aim for zero percentage body fat, we shouldn’t just dump any drink into our kids just because they like how it tastes. For those of you in EMS you know that one amp of D50 is 25 grams of carbs. Just as an example to anyone that isn’t in EMS, one of these can bring a person back from being completely unresponsive because of low sugar levels to a walking, talking and sometimes refusing patient. Remember: one of these, one can make a diabetic with a sugar level of 45 go to 145. Now take this into consideration:
One Dr Pepper from McDonald’s 32 ounce has approximately 80 grams of carbs. That’s more than 3 times the amount we use to bring back a diabetic patient from a coma!

Now I’m all for personal choice and freedom and liberty. I’m all for science and research. But sometimes we just have to look at something and common sense should say, maybe we shouldn’t.

In comparing weight maybe we shouldn’t compare overweight to underweight. Maybe the comparison should be overweight to normal and underweight to normal.

Maybe it shouldn’t be freedom to buy as big a Big Gulp as you want, maybe it should be that we strive to teach our kids a better way to eat so that they don’t have to go through the problems we and our patients are going through.

Common sense, seems to be a running topic for me, maybe because I’m used to seeing so little of it.

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