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Newsflash: It’s fitness, not fatness

5th December 2007

Newsflash: It’s fitness, not fatness

A study published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association reinforces what I, and other followers of the Health at Every Size movement, have been saying all along: It’s fitness, not fatness, that’s key to good health.

Researchers, led by Dr. Xumei Sui of the University of South Carolina and Columbia, studied the effects of fitness in adults over the age of 60. Sui and his colleagues showed that the adults who were more fit, lived longer – regardless of body fat.

It also revealed no significant differences in body fat measures between those who died and those who survived. Oops, so much for the Obesity Kills! scaremongering.

The authors concluded that:

“In this study population, fitness was a significant mortality predictor in older adults, independent of overall or abdominal adiposity.

“Clinicians should consider the importance of preserving functional capacity by recommending regular physical activity for older individuals, normal-weight and overweight alike,” they added.

“We observed that fit individuals who were obese (such as those with BMI of 30.0 to 34.9, abdominal obesity, or excessive percent body fat) had a lower risk of all-cause mortality than did unfit, normal-weight, or lean individuals.

Of course, you’re still gonna die at some point. But, chances are, it won’t be the fat that kills you.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2007 at 12:19 pm and is filed under Fat Acceptance, Health, Nutrition & Fitness, New Research. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There are currently 7 responses to “Newsflash: It’s fitness, not fatness”

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  1. 1 On December 5th, 2007, Michelle said:

    Rachel, very interesting study that touches what many of us has suspected and KNOWN for a long time.

    Glad they are finally realizing it!

  2. 2 On December 5th, 2007, Kate Harding said:

    I’m stunned. Stunned, I tell you. :)

    (Actually, I am a little stunned, in a good way, to see HAES being taken seriously. Yay!)

  3. 3 On December 5th, 2007, KD Plaskon said:

    This guy is still unable to accept the findings though:

    “Being extremely overweight seems to be uniformly associated with adverse outcomes,” said Dr. Lawrence Cheskin, director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center. “Even with exercise, being obese is a significant risk factor for dying.”

    Based on his comments in the Baltimore Sun, where the article was disappointingly paired with a BMI table, Cheskin just does not want to acknowledge that one can be fit and fat despite the finding of the study. I guess since he’s director of the Weight Management Center, he fears for the security of his position if overweight/obesity is no longer an epidemic that kills.

  4. 4 On December 5th, 2007, Tari said:

    Bigger shock: USA Today covered it. Sort of….objectively. Whoa.

  5. 5 On December 5th, 2007, Devi said:

    CTV.ca (Canadian Network) ran a piece on it but, of course, included an obligatory quote from an “obesity expert” on the dangers of excess weight.

  6. 6 On December 5th, 2007, Rachel said:

    Haha, so the party line is “Fat doesn’t kill and it can be healthy, but don’t be fat, mmm kay?”

  7. 7 On December 6th, 2007, Fatadelic said:

    Kate said:

    (Actually, I am a little stunned, in a good way, to see HAES being taken seriously. Yay!)

    Sit back and watch the media reports twist the study. Along the ‘but that doesn’t mean it’s ok to be fat, though’ line.

    Sigh.

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