The True Paradox of Obesity
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).