The Long Slog

Well, here's some good news for New Year's resolutionaries. I got it from here, which is probably password protected for you civilians, but it's been reported elsewhere, too:
Severe obesity is associated with an increased risk for death from all causes, but lesser amounts of excess weight either do not increase the risk or may be protective, according to the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis.
The findings were published in the January 2, 2013, issue ofJAMA by Katherine M. Flegal, PhD, from the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues.
The analysis used body mass index (BMI) categories drawn up by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) as follows: underweight, BMI less than 18.5 kg/m 2; normal weight, BMI from 18.5 to less than 25 kg/m 2; overweight, BMI from 25 to less than 30 kg/m 2; and obese, BMI of 30 kg/m 2 or more). The category for obesity was further subdivided into grade 1 (BMI, 30 to 35, grade 2 (BMI, 35 to 40, and grade 3 (BMI, 40 kg/m 2 or more) obesity.
Compared with the normal-weight group, the HR (hazard ratio) for the overweight group was 0.94, with a 95% confidence interval of 0.91 to 0.96. For all grades of obesity together, the HR was 1.18 (95% CI, 1.12 - 1.25), but when the obesity categories were broken down separately, grade 1 was not associated with increased all-cause mortality (HR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.88 - 1.01).
Obesity grades 2 and 3, in contrast, were associated with greater mortality risk, with an HR of 1.29 for the 2 grades combined (95% CI, 1.18 - 1.41).
Possible explanations also have included earlier presentation of heavier patients for medical care and increased likelihood of receiving aggressive risk factor treatment, cardioprotective metabolic effects of increased body fat, and beneficial effects of higher metabolic reserves.
... there does appear to be a protective effect of the overweight or low-obesity BMI categories for people chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and older age — the so-called "obesity paradox."
Ever since the local paper took my picture and began publishing it with my column, I've started walking every day. (If they have photoshop skills, they refused to use them on my chins -- the one I was born with, enough of it to share, and the one under it.) I don't feel near as bad as I look, but while I'm working my way out the bottom end of their category one, it's nice to know there's no rush, healthwise.

[Image source]
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