Are you familiar with the “obesity paradox”? This is the idea that being overweight or obese isn’t so bad for your health after all, even if you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States (it can lead to blindness, heart disease, strokes, nerve damage and kidney damage). Similar findings have been seen in studies of patients with heart failure, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and high blood pressure, all suggesting that excess weight really isn’t much of a treat to health.
Before you decide that maybe you don’t have to lose weight after all, consider the findings of an important new study published in January of this year. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) found after studying data on more than 10,000 men and women collected over three decades that the obesity paradox doesn’t apply – in this massive study, overweight and obese patients with type 2 diabetes did not outlive slimmer patients. In fact, those with the lowest risk of death seen in this study were patients whose weight was normal. The researchers saw no lower risk of death among patients who were overweight and obese.
Rethinking the Obesity Paradox
How come the Harvard researchers came up with data that conflicted so dramatically with the findings of earlier studies?
In a press release that accompanied publication of the study, lead author Deirdre Tobias explained that in most studies that look at the relationship between weight and mortality, all patients whose weight is normal may be put grouped together without taking into consideration whether some of them are smokers or have some existing or undiagnosed illnesses. Both those factors could skew the outcome, suggesting that there are more deaths among the normal weight patients than among those who are overweight or obese. In the new study, the Harvard researchers carefully controlled for factors such as smoking and undiagnosed illness in order to get a realistic picture of whether or not excess weight affects the risk of death.
Bottom line: having excess body weight is dangerous. Fat cells, also known as adipocytes, are mini toxin-manufacturing plants. Adipocytes in belly fat, the dangerous type that accumulates around internal organs produce 35 chemicals that lead to increased inflammation, oxidative stress, insulin resistance and elevated C-reactive protein, which increases inflammation and is a marker and a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Forget the obesity paradox! You can lose weight and become healthier and more physically fit. It doesn’t matter if you’ve tried and failed before. The Omni Diet can guide you to a lifetime of good health. Let me help you change your weight, your health, and your life.
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