The Obesity Paradox

The Obesity Paradox

When Thinner Means Sicker and Heavier Means Healthier

Book - 2014
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Most of us think that longevity hinges on maintaining a normal Body Mass Index. But research conducted over the last decade hit the media in January with explosive news: Overweight and even moderately obese people with certain chronic diseases-from heart disease to cancer- often live longer and fare better than normalweight individuals with the same ailments. In this groundbreaking book, Carl Lavie, MD, reveals the science behind the obesity paradox and shows us how to achieve maximum health rather than minimum weight. Lavie not only explains how extra fat provides additional fuel to help fight illness, he also argues that we've gotten so used to framing health issues in terms of obesity that we overlook other potential causes of disease.
Publisher: New York, New York :, Hudson Street Press,, 2014
ISBN: 9781594632440
1594632448
Branch Call Number: 616.398 L391o
Characteristics: xix, 268 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Loberg, Kristin

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ksoles Aug 19, 2014

Could carrying a few extra pounds actually lead to a healthier, longer life? Such an assertion seems almost sacrilege amid today's onslaught of diets and exercise programs that promise a perfect, thin body. But, in "The Obesity Paradox," cardiologist Carl Lavie presents a well-researched, easily understood analysis of body fat and the functions it plays in the human body.

After examining the obvious dangers of excess body fat (increased strain on the heart, high blood pressure, and increased risk for diseases like diabetes), Lavie reveals the advantages of carrying a little extra weight. Unlike overweight people, who carry energy reserves in their fat cells, a thin person has no cushion when he/she falls ill or when an accident occurs. Lavie asserts that the key to optimal health lies in balancing body fat with moderate physical fitness. "If you had to choose between fitness and thinness," he writes, "it looks like it's much more important to maintain your fitness than your svelte waistline...fitness appears to be a lot more protective than a low weight." In other words, being metabolically fit despite extra weight indicates good health more so than being thin (i.e. looking healthy) but having hidden health risks.

After presenting some intriguing data, Lavie neatly summarizes his explorations in ten principles that help readers digest these counterintuitive notions. Ultimately, he provides comprehensible, practical advice that shuns yo-yo dieting and exhaustive exercise regimens for a more lenient lifestyle, opening the door to a new understanding of optimum weight and health.

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