A Shapeling writes:
I am a biologist attending a large, well respected conference on insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease.
All the experiments were well designed, good solid data, and a lot of it correlates EXACTLY with the message of your blog, like the factoid I gleaned that fully 25% of Coronary Artery Disease cases diagnosed have no known risk factors- not high cholesterol, not obesity, not smoking, not type II diabetes. The fact that exercise and activity level is a better predictor of long term health than fat. That pear-shape fat (subcutaneous fat) releases adipocytokines that protect against metabolic disease, improve lipid and glucose metabolism, and positively correlate with increased longevity and quality of life.
The problem is the huge disconnect. It made me want to curl up into a ball and cry- which is what I did as soon as my husband joined me at the conference.
- The slide that had a picture of an obese man with the caption “homo stupidus.”
- The news that the AHA reclassified anyone over 27* (me!! me!!) on the BMI scale obese with the attendant scare-the-crap-out-of-you warnings.
- The obese diabetic (ob/ob db/db) mouse model- google for images if you’re curious- which is considered a great way to model the metabolisms of healthy fat people like you and me and then tell us we’re all going to die and its ALL OUR OWN DAMN FAULT.
Sigh, indeed. Also, as I said to the Shapeling, HOLY CRAP, are they seriously moving the cut-off for obesity down to 27?!? Ten years ago, that was the cut-off for overweight! If this is true, people with a BMI of 26 have now gone from being a healthy weight to overweight to just shy of obese, without ever gaining an ounce.
You’d think things like that would make people wake the fuck up. You’d think.
And seriously, “Homo Stupidus”? Charming.
Anyway, Shapelings, have at it. And thanks to the sender-inner, as they say over at CO.
*Update: The Shapeling who says this in now says she thinks she must have misheard or misinterpreted this — or the presenter might have been from a different country. The Wikipedia page on BMI notes international variations in keeping with what she heard, but as far as we know, the AHA hasn’t changed anything recently. So if you’re American, you can exhale. A little.