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Stranger Than Fiction, Fat Boy
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Remember the scene in Woody Allen's wonderful movie Sleeper, where the scientists in the distant future chuckle about the old days in the twentieth century when people foolishly thought that chocolate, smoking, and junk food were bad for you? This morning's New York Times carried just such a story.

Some Extra Heft May Be Helpful, New Study Says

People who are overweight but not obese have a lower risk of death than those of normal weight, federal researchers are reporting today.

The new study, considered by many independent scientists to be the most rigorous yet on the effects of weight, controlled for factors like smoking, age, race and alcohol consumption in a sophisticated analysis derived from a well-known method that has been used to predict cancer risk.

It also used the federal government's own weight categories, which define fatness and thinness according to a "body mass index" correlating weight to height, regardless of sex. For example, 5-foot-8 people weighing less than 122 pounds are underweight. If they weighed 122 to 164 pounds, their weight would be normal. They would be overweight at 165 to 196, obese at 197 to 229, and extremely obese at 230 or over.

Uh huh.

I happen to be 5-foot-8. I am at the lower end of the overweight range for that height. I am seriously trying to lose weight. I just lost a lot of motivation.

Maybe tomorrow I'll check out the new food pyramid.


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