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Overweight Live Longer...lies, Damn Lies And Statistics ?

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Think it's more of a reflection on the limitations of the BMI classifications.

As an anecdote, I'm 'borderline overweight' at bang on 25, but am two weeks off running a sub-4hr marathon, so would imagine to be something resembling a healthy weight.

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1. Skeletal muscle loss is associated with increased mortality.

Its obvious as illness causes weight loss and ageing causes lower testosterone levels.

Therefore in the adult population there is actually an inverse association between body weight and death. Its been known about for decades, if not centuries.

It is interesting, what it is not, is 'news'.

2. The WHO changed the BMI indices so that lots of normal weight individuals were shifted into the overweight category.

Add these two factors together and that is your explanation.

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1. Skeletal muscle loss is associated with increased mortality.

Its obvious as illness causes weight loss and ageing causes lower testosterone levels.

Therefore in the adult population there is actually an inverse association between body weight and death. Its been known about for decades, if not centuries.

It is interesting, what it is not, is 'news'.

2. The WHO changed the BMI indices so that lots of normal weight individuals were shifted into the overweight category.

Add these two factors together and that is your explanation.

I would bet that these healthy slightly overweight individuals would live even longer if they were slightly underweight. They just got fat because they were healthy. I don't believe you have to be heavy to have a good bone mass. Fwiw I have very heavy legs, broad shoulders and thick wrists but only weigh 10 and a half stones because there aint much fat on me. I got a lot of stick for suggesting Cameron with his sparrow legs and belly was out of shape on that infamous beach shot because it is the norm...I really struggle to believe that is a healthier weight but obviously I have a VI.

Incidentally my partner who is a size 8 and weight 8 stone at 5' 5'' has had her bone mass tested because she is over 55...she has an excellent bone mass for a woman. We just do loads of exercise, weight bearing exercise.

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It is lean mass that is inversely associated with mortality.

This is because muscle wasting is a symptom of, not a cause of death. As you start to die, your lean mass decreases.

Adipose tissue increases the risk of certain western lifestyle diseases, but only abdominal obesity. Subcutaneous fat is not associated with ill health. This is because the fat around your internal organs starts to build up as a result of underlying disease. Particularly the metabolic syndrome, and this also causes cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Skeletal muscle loss is therefore a symptoms of dying, particularly cancer, old age and infectious disease.

Abdominal fat gain is a symptom of metabolic syndrome.

So if you lose muscle and gain abdominal fat you are not doing well.

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I'm not going to mention my current bmi, but if I were to drop down to my recommended 'healthy' bmi I would look very unwell.

Just to create an image I'm 6'7" and built like the proverbial brick outhouse.

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When I was in hospital earlier this year they were forever checking height and weight along with other vitals. Very sick people tend to have lost weight so it would not surprise me if this was nothing more than an obvious statistic.

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Abdominal fat gain is a symptom of metabolic syndrome.

I have been eating a low fructose, low hydrogenated fat diet for about three years now. Initially i lost weight very quickly and easily, and have been about the same weight for about 2.5 years. I have health checks from work at the Nuffield hospital and they tell me i'm 18-19% body fat which seems OK, but it is all abdominal fat though.

Would you say healthy eating works to stop the gain, but does not necessarily remove any already accumulated excess abdominal fat? Or is maybe 18% just a normal amount for a man in his mid 40s?

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18% is pretty decent is it not ? I imagine I am about the same. Too much effort required on diet to get to 10% levels IMO.

As for losing it - folk that do lots of intermittent fasting and high intensity exercise seem to get rid of 'trouble' fatty areas no problem.

I imagine when fasting your body goes for whats easiest and most abundant first once out of carbs - so if you have a lot around your waist it will attack that first ? Makes sense but I am no biologist !!

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18% is pretty decent is it not ? I imagine I am about the same. Too much effort required on diet to get to 10% levels IMO. As for losing it - folk that do lots of intermittent fasting and high intensity exercise seem to get rid of 'trouble' fatty areas no problem. I imagine when fasting your body goes for whats easiest and most abundant first once out of carbs - so if you have a lot around your waist it will attack that first ? Makes sense but I am no biologist !!

Actually i normally run (5k), play football, swim and lift weights. I pulled a muscle before Christmas, then tried to go back to football too quickly and re-injured it so have been pretty sedentary for getting on for 5 months and it has made surprisingly little difference in terms of body composition. Stress levels and mood have suffered from lack of vigorous exercise far more than my gut.

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18% is pretty decent is it not ? I imagine I am about the same. Too much effort required on diet to get to 10% levels IMO. As for losing it - folk that do lots of intermittent fasting and high intensity exercise seem to get rid of 'trouble' fatty areas no problem. I imagine when fasting your body goes for whats easiest and most abundant first once out of carbs - so if you have a lot around your waist it will attack that first ? Makes sense but I am no biologist !!

Nuffield measured me at 17% a few years back (when I had an all-round checkup sponsored by my then-employer). Bang in the middle of normal/healthy for a man.

At the same time, they measured me as not merely overweight but actually obese by BMI. And I have the paunch to prove it.

Oh, and putting me on the treadmill put me comfortably in the green region of a 2-d graph describing general fitness.

Moral I think: don't get hung-up about any particular measure of fatness. At least not until you're well into "would ccc?" territory.

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Nuffield measured me at 17% a few years back (when I had an all-round checkup sponsored by my then-employer). Bang in the middle of normal/healthy for a man.

At the same time, they measured me as not merely overweight but actually obese by BMI. And I have the paunch to prove it.

Oh, and putting me on the treadmill put me comfortably in the green region of a 2-d graph describing general fitness.

Moral I think: don't get hung-up about any particular measure of fatness. At least not until you're well into "would ccc?" territory.

The fact is your body will adjust the fat level to what it requires. Last year i covered over 4,000 miles on foot, for the first time, and anything much over 10% fat would have severely imposed on my stamina. Triathletes, marathon runners don't generally carry any dead weight and even the women have six packs on their skinny torsos. This year I have been rather busy with one thing and another, I have dropped to walking about 40 miles a week and I guess my body fat index will have reacted accordingly to about 15%. I certainly don't waltz through a 26 mile walk anymore like i would have last year and you are fully aware of that extra 5% dead weight.

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I often wonder the same about "drinkers live longer than non drinkers".

I would imagine a lot of non drinkers are actually ill.

Similarly, people who give blood live longer than those who don't, but probably because if you've got certain medical conditions you're precluded from donating rather than from any benefit obtained through bleeding.

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The fact is your body will adjust the fat level to what it requires. Last year i covered over 4,000 miles on foot, for the first time, and anything much over 10% fat would have severely imposed on my stamina. Triathletes, marathon runners don't generally carry any dead weight and even the women have six packs on their skinny torsos. This year I have been rather busy with one thing and another, I have dropped to walking about 40 miles a week and I guess my body fat index will have reacted accordingly to about 15%. I certainly don't waltz through a 26 mile walk anymore like i would have last year and you are fully aware of that extra 5% dead weight.

Yep extra weight makes a huge difference.

I am about a stone heavier than a few years back when doing my best 5k times. Have been a little annoyed with my times recently until I thought about the difference. Would be like going back and handing myself 5 bags of sugar to run with taped to me.

20.38 vs 19.08 is actually pretty decent considering. And I prefer the way I look just now from all the swimming anyway.

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Yep extra weight makes a huge difference.

I am about a stone heavier than a few years back when doing my best 5k times. Have been a little annoyed with my times recently until I thought about the difference. Would be like going back and handing myself 5 bags of sugar to run with taped to me.

20.38 vs 19.08 is actually pretty decent considering. And I prefer the way I look just now from all the swimming anyway.

Absolutely you do look healthier and better for carrying excess weight even if you can't achieve what you could carrying virtually none.

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Yep extra weight makes a huge difference.

I am about a stone heavier than a few years back when doing my best 5k times. Have been a little annoyed with my times recently until I thought about the difference. Would be like going back and handing myself 5 bags of sugar to run with taped to me.

20.38 vs 19.08 is actually pretty decent considering. And I prefer the way I look just now from all the swimming anyway.

I would love to be able to put in those times. Sub 22 for a 5k was my target, before i got injured I'd managed a 23.12. Probably not going to manage 22 anytime soon, let alone 20 something.

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I have been eating a low fructose, low hydrogenated fat diet for about three years now. Initially i lost weight very quickly and easily, and have been about the same weight for about 2.5 years. I have health checks from work at the Nuffield hospital and they tell me i'm 18-19% body fat which seems OK, but it is all abdominal fat though.

Would you say healthy eating works to stop the gain, but does not necessarily remove any already accumulated excess abdominal fat? Or is maybe 18% just a normal amount for a man in his mid 40s?

It is highly complex and I take it on a case by case basis. Very difficult to improve insulin resistance once you have it. Best way I have found is intense exercise using the larger muscles of the body. 18 % fat is reasonable for a man, low for a woman.

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It is highly complex and I take it on a case by case basis. Very difficult to improve insulin resistance once you have it. Best way I have found is intense exercise using the larger muscles of the body. 18 % fat is reasonable for a man, low for a woman.

But in theory, if you improve the insulin resistance the belly fat will continue to shift to some kind of "ideal" set-point?

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