A few extra pounds may be healthy
I came across this story while browsing Google News. It wasn’t at the top of the page under “Top Stores,” or in the “Editor’s Picks.” It also wasn’t featured in the “Spotlight” or “Most Popular” sections. It was at the very bottom of the page, the third of three stories in the “Health” section (a section that most people probably have disabled entirely).
Why would this be the case? The potential ramifications of this study are enormous. If accurate, it could refute nearly everything we assume about proper nutrition and health. It could impact decision making among individuals, corporations, and governments to an enormous extent. It would certainly impact the average person’s everyday life infinitely more than the latest bipartisan spending bill nonsense that is currently dominating the headlines.
So why isn’t this story a bigger deal? Could it have anything to do with the fact that, if true, it would mean that the collective governments of the world, nearly all of the medical establishment, and nearly all of the media were completely and totally wrong on a massive scale? It would mean that all the money we’ve spent and all the draconian policies we’ve implemented “fighting obesity” were not actually doing any good towards improving human health and happiness whatsoever. In fact, they’ve likely caused harm. In an era where public schools send notes home to parents telling them that their children are too fat, based solely on their BMI, it would be fairly significant to find out that what the BMI considers to be overweight is actually healthier than what it considers to be normal, would it not? Contrast this to the treatment of studies that re-enforce the media and the state’s current preferred information, which typically receive front-page treatment and are shouted from the rooftops.
What amazes me the most about this article is that there doesn’t seem to be any real case against it. They weren’t able to find someone to denounce the study or declare it obviously incorrect. The closest thing to criticism they provide is the director of the CDC basically giving a non-answer and saying “We still have a lot to learn.” What a ridiculous response that is. If true, this study would essentially change everything we know about how someone’s weight relates to their health, a topic that seems to be a pretty big deal to a lot of people. And that’s the best the establishment can do? Shrug their shoulders and say whatever?
It’s entirely possible that this study is wrong. I don’t claim to be an expert on health or nutrition; in fact, it’s probably one of the things I’m least informed about. However, this study should be a huge eye-opener to anyone who blindly trusts the government to provide correct information on vital topics such as health. Sometimes, they get it really really wrong, and if they find out they’re wrong, they’d much rather continue being wrong than admit to a mistake.
I’d like to see the actual study, but I’m not surprised that the CDC is surprised 🙂 Often nutritional studies are complete crap, no matter where they come from. The methodology resembles the scientific method as closely as I resemble a Pro Bowl Left Tackle. Journalists are also notorious for not reading the studies they report on, often misrepresenting what the researchers concluded.
What I know about fat from reading Taubes and crew in the paleo side is that it’s necessary and beneficial to consume healthy fats as a source of energy, but stored fat (obesity) is generally a sign that the individual is using carbs as his/her primary fuel source, which is problematic for health for a variety of reasons.
If you do find a link to the actual study (didn’t see one in the attached article), please send it to Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf and ask them to cover it in their upcoming articles. Both are very experienced at reading and demystifying health studies or know others who can take it on.
Hope all is well,
Thanks for the comment! One of the reasons I’ve never really bothered to care about health or nutrition is that it seems that absolutely everybody has a different conception of what works, and that “the establishment” seems to change its mind on almost everything every few years.
It’s not a topic that interests me all that much, so I probably won’t be following up on this story. Just wanted to point out an example of the establishment ignoring a study that would disprove its propaganda.