The True Paradox of Obesity

 In LinkedIn

Readers of a certain age will recall, and perhaps still find themselves singing from time to time, the song: He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother. That sentiment – that we’ve got one another’s backs, and will put a shoulder to one another’s burdens- is a laudable and recurring theme in some really great music, if not quite so reliably in our daily routines. The sad, simple reality of modern life, though, is that our brother is probably both- and quite possibly diabetic as well. So, too, our sisters, and selves- and all too often, even our children.

Obesity is truly rampant in the modern world. A decisive majority of our siblings and ourselves in the U.S. are, indeed, heavy- either overweight or obese. Childhood obesity, despite occasional and localized indications of progress, is at unprecedented levels.

News comes this week to remind us how important this eminently unnecessary scourge truly is. A study in JAMA Cardiology refutes –yet again– the idea of “an obesity paradox,” and suggests that both overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk of serious chronic disease (i.e., life lost from years), and obesity at all levels is associated with premature mortality (i.e., years lost from life).

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Dr. David L. Katz
DAVID L. KATZ MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, FACLM, is the founding director (1998) of Yale University's Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, and current President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. He earned his BA degree from Dartmouth College (1984); his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (1988); and his MPH from the Yale University School of Public Health (1993). He completed sequential residency training in Internal Medicine, and Preventive Medicine/Public Health. He is a two-time diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, and a board-certified specialist in Preventive Medicine/Public Health. He has received two Honorary Doctorates. Dr. Katz has published roughly 200 scientific articles and textbook chapters, and 15 books to date, including multiple editions of leading textbooks in both Preventive Medicine, and nutrition. Recognized globally for expertise in nutrition, weight management and the prevention of chronic disease, he has a social media following of well over half a million. In 2015, Dr. Katz established the True Health Initiative to help convert what we know about lifestyle as medicine into what we do about it, in the service of adding years to lives and life to years around the globe.
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