Obesity Is Not Killing Us ...

Discussion in 'Gator Country Health and Fitness' started by Dreamliner, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    I understand. While we're on the topic I'll venture a couple of comments, one philosophical, one practical:

    (1) I've never gotten the Christian's "hang on 'til heaven" mindset. At the same time, I've never gotten the non-Christian's argument that focusing on the afterlife saps motivation for excelling on this plain of existence. I believe the opposite is the case.

    (2) Ironically, I don't see anything about the connection between food and longevity in the Bible. And yes, I do bring it up if a food-obsessed client of mine identifies themselves as a Bible-believer. Otherwise, I don't go preaching.

    That's all I'm going to say on the topic.
  2. fl_champ
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    fl_champ New Member

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    Leaf I don't understand the frustration. If that's what you're feeling by my comment. This is after all a discussion forum is it not. Why can't we have a civilized open conversation regarding this topic? I didn't come here to cause trouble but to simply talk with fellow Gators. Would it please you if I started a new topic on the religious section?
  3. fl_champ
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    fl_champ New Member

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    Dreamliner what is your field of work if you don't mind me asking?
  4. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    Feel free to post whatever you want where you want. If others would like to discuss your post with you they are also free to do so. I dont feel it is relevant to this thread or this forum. If I am wrong and others feel this is on topic and in the right place then they will chime in.

    I think you were reaching by placing your statement in this thread about obesity and health concerns. That is all. I dont come here to discuss religion, I come here to talk about health and fitness. I do think there is a place on Gator Country to discuss your topic and there are plenty of posters who will find it a worthwhile discussion. Might be better off in Too Hot though. Just my opinion.
  5. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Fitness trainer.
  6. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    Not another fitness trainer.
  7. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Oh, right.
  8. ATL_Gator
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    ATL_Gator Well-Known Member

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    My thoughts:

    First off, I hate the connection between simply having a heart beat and living a happy, fulfilled life.

    Obese people tend to have more physical problems. I do not buy that someone who is heavy and as a result dealing with dietary restrictions due to diabetes, has to take a myriad of medications to deal with high blood pressure, cholesterol, and others, not to mention the pills to counteract the side effects of other pills. Plus the possibility of being in constant joint pain, and having to choose to NOT do something because they physically can't do it.

    This woman that my wife works with is Type II. She ALWAYS complains that her knees are killing her. A flight of stairs taxes her. She has financial problems anyway, and drives a crap car... but is managing 13 or so prescriptions. Even if they are all covered by her insurance to some level (which I am pretty sure they are not)... she is dropping $130 to $260 a month, on just meds. That money could be MUCH better spent elsewhere.

    IMO, I do not buy that more heart beats under heavy restrictions and pain is better than fewer heart beats with a less restrictive lifestyle. ESPECIALLY if you are talking about the end of life... i.e. dying at 85 vs. dying at 90.

    SECOND: The one thing that I am curious about.. I tend to agree a bit with Leaf on this part... I think the connection between longevity and "heaviness" is the doctor. I would bet there is a HIGH correlation between obesity and "taking medication"... in order to take medication (especially recurring), you MUST go to your doctor. Where they run tests and monitor how things change with time.

    Most of the major illnesses out there are BEST dealt with when they are found early. IF a person is healthy, with no symptoms what so ever.. how often does he/she go to the doctor? Myself, I haven't been in about 2.5 years. When I was on blood pressure meds, I was going every 3-6 months, and having a lot of my "functions" monitored (diabetes, liver, so on and so forth).
  9. ATL_Gator
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    ATL_Gator Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah, I forgot the "best" part about that woman's life...

    Her kid has some odd disease, and will need an organ transplant. The doctors flat out told her that she can NOT donate to her own kid BECAUSE she is so overweight. The aren't even going to test her for compatibility.

    Her obesity is potentially affecting her kid's life (best case for a match is a sibling, second best is a parent).

    Maybe she lives longer than I do, but is that a better situation?
  10. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    I dealt with some of these on the similar thread on Too Hot. First, on the very narrow score of overweight and moderately obese, they live as long if not longer than their normal weight counterparts, irrespective of health problems. obviously there is a difference between mortality and morbidity.

    BUT, we also know that obesity appears to confer some degree of immunity against death by hearth attack, diabetes, hypertension and a number of other conditions and episodes. So, I suppose the question begs, when does a risk began to be seen as a benefit ?

    ALSO, there is a difference between so-called 'risks' and actual disease. Very often, there does not appear to be a demonstrable link. But increasing numbers of Americans are diagnosed with the disease of being fat, the medicated for it based on the vogue practice of risk management. Therefore, it is dubious to suppose that fat people are actually less healthy than skinny people.

    Lastly, don't get me wrong. I can think of a number of reasons for fat people to lose weight ranging from joint relief to vanity. But as a fitness trainer, I can no longer pretend to imagine that in so doing they will improve their health, let alone extend their lives.

    Also, as a fitness trainer, I consider it no small thing to help people regain the vigor of their youth, the strength and mobility they've lost, irrespective of shape and size.
  11. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Another problem with the debate is that when we hear (I know I've been guilty about this) "Obesity is not killing us", we go, "WTF ?" because we're thinking of the morbidly obese, who comprise all of 3% of the population and which do die earlier ... just like the underweight.*

    But in the VERY broad middle we see tens of scores of millions of Americans that we fitness-minded types would consider fat, but who may well outlive us.

    *Although even here I've seen research which has the most morbidly obese of women outliving normal weight males. :jeez:
  12. ATL_Gator
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    ATL_Gator Well-Known Member

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    Given the links and what not.. I can understand not advertising/pushing the weight loss and life extension link...

    But health?

    The definition of health:

    • The state of being free from illness or injury: "he was restored to health"; "a health risk".
    • A person's mental or physical condition.
    A person successfully managing an illness/injury/depression that is directly caused by excess weight (no matter how much) with medication doesn't mean that they are healthy. Longevity does not enter that definition.
  13. ATL_Gator
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    ATL_Gator Well-Known Member

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    I thought that women outlive men in general, regardless of weight.

    ...

    Anyway, I have another theory as why overweight may outlive "perfect" weight.

    I suspect that the body generally shuts down slowly over time. Eventually, the ability to process calories/nutrients from what we eat becomes compromised, and part of what the body does is turn to fat storage to make up the difference (along with other strategies like shedding muscle that isn't being used).

    IF you can buy that, of course a fat person is going to live longer. They have more to pull from.

    to illustrate:

    2 people, same age, one fat, one not (some fat, but not excess). At the same point in time they contract the same disease that shuts down the digestion/absorption of calories at the same rate. The thin person is going to run out of storage and then die before the fat person.
  14. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    True, but here's the larger picture: as soon as you label fat a disease, that person is, by definition, unhealthy. So, that right there skews the numbers.

    Then, doctors begin to medicate for various risk factors associated with obesity, whether or not said factors actually appear to be killing people. Ex: a former client of mine was technically moderately obese. In his case, in spite of normal health markers, and in spite of the fact that his parents were long-lived, his doctor prescribed statins prophylactically.

    Then you have to take into account that thin people have the same conditions ... and appear to die earlier from them than fat people do.

    Finally, the moral panic over obesity ignores the fact that Americans are, in point of fact, healthier than ever.
  15. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Yes, women do live longer in general. The prevailing theory is that men are more aggressive and tend to engage in riskier endeavors.

    And either 1 or 2 are among theories which serve to explain the 'obesity paradox.'
  16. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    I am 6-0 145 and can probably run rings around most men half my age. But I also take blood pressure meds, asthma meds and suffer from periodic acid reflux.

    Would you say that I'm healthy ? Technically, I have three diseases.

    Yet, I'll bet that the average person would look at me and think that, based on my age, my slim build and performance has me looking like the picture of health. In fact, people are often astonished when I tell them how old I am.
  17. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    Would you rather be overweight, out of shape and not have these ailments? Or, if you were overweight would these problems be worse for you? Thats the thing I wonder about. I mean I have two of those problems myself. I have had asthma since before I was a year old and a few years ago started having high blood pressure. And for a while those problems were much worse for me as I had kind of let myself go a little bit. The blood pressure was probably from a combination of terrible diet, stressful job and very little activity.

    My asthma is completely under control now with a once a day med and my bp meds have been cut by 75%. So, did losing about 20 pounds and maybe even more fat improve my health?
  18. ATL_Gator
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    ATL_Gator Well-Known Member

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    Black and white, per the definition... nope. Can't beat genetics.

    Doesn't sound like any of what you are dealing with is weight related. Along those lines, you could be managing Type 2 Diabetes because you were overweight with all of that stuff.

    I would argue that the second condition is "less healthy" than the first.
  19. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    It's a interesting question. I strongly suspect that being overweight would be worse for my reflux, but possibly better for my hypertension. In the end, I maintain the body I have primarily for reasons of vanity and secondarily for reasons of performance. No way I could perform half the movements I value if I was as little as ten pounds heavier.

    Here's another interesting thing: there is no doubt that various health markers improve when we lose weight. Ex: my BP seems extraordinarily sensitive to weight change. But it is less clear that improving numbers actually mean anything in terms of mortality.

    I have a neighbor who goes to the same doctor I do. The doctor was so concerned about his weight and cholesterol numbers that he put him on a medically-supervised meal replacement diet.

    Guy lost like 75 pounds in a very few months. His cholesterol plummeted. He's very happy. But there is research to suggest that losing all that weight may be more dangerous for him than his high cholesterol numbers ever were.
  20. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    I can tell you that, even though I was the firstborn of my siblings, I was the runt of the litter. I was a preemie. Spent some time under an oxygen tent when I was a toddler. And my mom tells me that when I was three years old I weighed thirty pounds.

    My grandad called me 'spider.'

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