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Being underweight is even more dangerous than being overweight


Fish Food
Jun 21, 2011
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Research of over 50 studies have shown you'll die younger if you're underweight. So go fat or die young! :oldrazz:

Or more realistically, try to keep your weight in the healthy range and not under do it. Even being slightly overweight might actually make you healthier than the accepted norm.

Underweight people die sooner than everyone else, even the obese, says new research that is expected to recharge debate over whether the risks of obesity are being overplayed.

Toronto researchers who analyzed 51 studies on the links between body mass index and death from any cause found those categorized as underweight have the highest risk of a premature death.

Adults who are underweight — with a BMI of less than 18.5 — have a 1.8 times higher risk of dying than those with a “normal” BMI of 18.5 to 24.9, the study found.

By comparison, people classed as obese (a BMI of 30 to 34.9) were 1.2 times more likely to die during a minimum five years of follow-up than normal weight people. The risk of dying was 1.3 times higher for the severely obese — those with a BMI of 35 or more.

Lead author Dr. Joel Ray says there is no question the obesity problem is genuine and real but that public health angst over rising obesity rates also risks creating an “epidemic” of underweight adults.

“Our focus as a society has been on overweight, obese and very obese, and there’s no problem in our focus. It’s an important public health and individual health issue,” said Ray, a physician and researcher at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. “But in the process we’ve neglected the influence of being underweight on mortality.”

Campaigns aimed at curbing obesity are laudable, he said. “But we also know that it also has the risk of potentially affecting people who are already sufficiently healthy in size, or who are so slightly overweight that it’s irrelevant — their risk of dying or diabetes isn’t important.

“It’s those individuals who become unintended victims of the campaign.”

Underweight puts people at increased risk of diseases or conditions that can either make people very ill, or kill them, Ray said. They include lung disease, cardiovascular disease such as heart failure and falls and injuries from poor fitness and less muscle mass.

“People with lung disease tend to work harder breathing, so they expend more energy and burn more calories, 24-7,” Ray said.

Malnourishment, heavy alcohol or drug use, smoking and mental illness are common causes of underweight.

But the study should also serve as a caution to people who are restricting food, over-exercising and “sliding themselves into an underweight category” in pursuit of the pin-thin bodies paraded by celebrities and fashion magazines.

The study, published Friday in the Journal of Epidemiology and Public Health, is the latest to challenge the BMI as a measure of health. Other studies have found that people categorized as “overweight” by their BMI have a lower risk of dying prematurely than those at the recommended weight for their height.

Everyone needs a reasonable amount of body fat. Ray uses the term “physical robustness.” “Think of the Dutch,” he said. “They don’t have too much fat, they’ve got good bone structure and good muscle mass.”

What matters most is waist circumference, he said.

Big buttocks, thighs or hips are not particularly risky for heart disease, diabetes or stroke. Far more dangerous is fat concentrated in the belly. The risk lies in a waist circumference of more than 102 cm for men and more than 88 cm for women.

The BMI also doesn’t take into account people who happen to be large because of more muscle and bone, Ray said.
Where it’s more useful is for lower weights — the thin and ultrathin — “because it tells us about muscle mass and fat,” he said.

Most of the studies in the analysis involved middle- to late-middle-age adults. “They weren’t the very elderly at the edge of life.”

The study reminds us that being skinny is not a guarantee for a long life, said Dr. Arya Sharma, professor of medicine and chair of obesity research and management at the University of Alberta. “There are a lot of people at the low end of the weight spectrum who do have very significant health problems.”

New studies are showing that people in the “overweight” range — a BMI of 25 to 30 — have the highest life expectancy, he said.

“The problem with all this data is that you’re looking at population data and you’re trying to make recommendations for individuals, and that’s always difficult,” Sharma said.

“There are a lot of skinny people who are very healthy who live to a happy old age, in the same way there are obese people who are healthy and will probably live to a long age,” he said.

The researchers also found fetuses that are underweight or overweight, are at a higher risk of being stillborn or dying in the womb.

Placental problems leading to poor fetal nutrition can lead to an underweight fetus. “And placental problems often arise because a mother has high blood pressure, smokes or has diabetes,” Ray said. “Most overweight fetuses are so because the mom is herself obese, and/or has diabetes, which leads to fetal overgrowth,” he said.
I'm really thin, always have been. I was the short kid up until about 8th grade when I started getting taller. I grew upwards, but not outwards. In my first year of high school, my body fat was so low it couldn't be measured. Once I tried having a higher calorie diet but it was straining on me to eat that much every day. Towards the end I wasn't even eating because I hungry, just trying to hit my daily goal. I gave that up because I didn't feel comfortable.

I think that I'm fit for someone at my weight. I used to visit the gym regularly and might get back in the habit of it. I eat as healthy as I can, while still partaking in my smoke and drink. I never starve myself, I eat till I'm full. I'm just one of those thin people who stay thin and I'm completely fine with that.
Home of maple syrup, hockey, and "eh?"
I've heard this magic number of 1200 calories being what a woman should not go over if they want to lose weight. But, 1200 calories is actually the minimum you can eat without starving yourself. Too many women only eat 1200 calories and then go to the gym and burn it off. It's super unhealthy.

I blame society for the underweight problem. Women are told to be as small as possible and to eat less and burn more calories. It's disgusting.
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My mother is terribly thin and she literally cannot keep the pounds on. I've seen her eat more than me over the course of a day and I'm not a small guy. She's 5'4 and maybe 95 pounds on a good day. She tries to gain weight as she really wants to but her body won't let her no matter how much she eats. She gets really pissed off about it because she's a size 0 and has a hell of a time finding clothes that fit.
Ah, I wish I were underweight again. I just quit watching my weight 4 years ago and I'm a little fat now. So you die younger? So what, if you look good and people reward you for that? :(
The way the story is worded makes it seem like obesity is desirable. What they really should have said: "Malnutrition is bad".
Or "git sum meat on dem bones!"
It didn't say obesity was desirable, although it does have a bone to pick with the over use of the BMI scale's importance. That being slightly overweight, not obese is actually more beneficial than the target weight BMI states.

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