Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A case for being overweight

Want to have a few fries with that grilled mahi sandwich? Longing for a scoop of Ben & Jerry's? Are those chocolates in the fridge calling out to you? Does a big, frosty margarita (or two) sound like heaven right now?

In our weight-fixated society, we've been trained to deny ourselves these indulgences, lest we pile on the pounds. The goal is to achieve -- and maintain -- your ideal weight, as determined by your body mass index. And this struggle has pretty much become out national obsession.

But, guess what? New studies are all pointing to the startling conclusion that carrying a little extra weight (10-15 pounds) might not be all that bad -- and, in some ways, might be better for you!

Researchers, it seems, are now focusing on overall health and fitness, rather than weight, the Wall Street Journal recently reported. Says the article:

"Researchers and doctors are starting to understand that eating healthy foods and getting exercise can matter more than the number that appears when you step on the scale."

I say: It's about damned time! As we move away from the reign of the scale over our lives, perhaps we'll come to a healthier overall approach to our lifestyle!

The Journal story discusses several benefits to being a little over your "ideal" weight:

  • Overweight people are no more likely than those of normal weight to die from cancer or cardiovascular disease.
  • During a 10-year time span, there was a reduced risk of dying for people in their 70s who were overweight compared to those of normal weight.
  • Doctors who study osteoporosis say a little extra weight may help strengthen bones.
  • As they age, women who are overweight often look younger than other women.
This, folks, is news that should make all of our lives easier! Chocolate, here I come ...

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