Evidence is mounting that being overweight isn’t as detrimental to one’s health as previously believed. In fact, numerous studies conducted on patients with certain chronic diseases found that those who were overweight to moderately obese had a lower mortality rate than those of normal-weight…
Okay, I’m not picking on any one person here, but I keep seeing links to articles like this (not just on this topic, but about health/science/whatever in general) going around, and I’m beginning to wonder if any school in North America teaches science anymore.
First, science doesn’t “prove” anything, headline writer. Science currently sees one trend. It may very well find something new in a month or two. (Or, as the old Lewis Black skit goes: “Is milk good or bad for you? …I rest my case.”)
Second, well, take it away, commenter:
According to the article (disclaimer: I have not read the study), the study only seems to say something about the mortality rates of fat and/or thin people that are already sick. It doesn’t say anything about the rates at which those people get sick in the first place, or draw distinctions with respect to the reasons the test group got sick and how being overweight (or not) may have affected that. The original article even raises that point that there may be a world of difference between thin people who are genetically susceptible to certain diseases and fat people who may have gotten the disease based on their lifestyle choices.
The study doesn’t speak to whether plus-size people are actually healthier overall or less susceptible to contracting those diseases in the first place.
If you stop reading at “fat and fit is better, healthwise, than being thin and unfit” (well, no sh*t) then you’re only getting half the message. Fit is always better than unfit, and thinness is an unreliable proxy for fitness.
Again, I’m not taking a position on this, because that would be ridiculous—I’m no scientist, and I’ve done no studies, and really, who knows. But this Jezebel article is lazy writing with an even lazier headline, and the conclusions it draws are just not found in the literature.
hi! i'm cow. i live in toronto, canada; i make the internet go; i spend a lot of time reading, thinking, and writing about queer issues, fighting the kyriarchy, as well as trying to make this country the best it can be. also, i ride trains a lot. moo!