Is there such a thing as "ideal weight"?Quicklink submitted by Josh Mitteldorf Permalink
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|There’s a social stigma attached to being fat, a cultural prejudice that is utterly unfair. It makes no distinction between those who are lax about their diet and those whose metabolisms incline them toward obesity even when they eat moderately. But Mother Nature is more equitable. She distributes the gift of longevity not according to weight, but according to how much you eat, taking body type into account. And herein lies a resolution to a long-standing paradox of epidemiology. In experiments with animals, there is a very near linear relationship between food intake and life span. The less they eat, the longer they live. But in epidemiology, there is an "ideal weight" where mortality is minimized. BMI less than about 22 seems actually to increase risk and shorten life span. But for any given individual, he cannot be healthier by gaining weight.|
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