Obese. Fat. Overweight. It’s bad. It’s good. It’s okay — maybe…

Weighing the optionsOkay, I admit it. I’m overweight. I’m working on adding a lot more exercise into my daily life, well as much as I can with chronic pain and fibromyalgia. I do between 15-45 minutes on the Wii Fit each day. Lately, I’ve been also walking down to the mailbox (1/4 miles from the house) and a few times a week, depending on the temperature, Hyperion and I have been taking about a 1.5 to 2 mile walk in the early evening. So, I’m not a slouch with the exercise and I eat healthy and lite — mostly.

But I’m fairly comfortable with myself though if I lose some weight my knees would probably throw a big party with carrots and celery. But then I get the confusing messages from the “world”. Airlines want to charge extra for heavy people to fly because it bothers people to sit next to a fat person. You know what bothers me — people who douse themselves with perfume and fly, people who put their seats all the way back without even thinking about the person behind them who just lost 1/3 of their space and most likely can’t read unless they rest the book on the reclining person’s head, people who feel they must tell you their life story even when you get your book our and open it. Heck, I’ve sat next to skinny people who spread themselves all out over half my seat and their own and half the one next to them as they take off their shoes and pull their legs up into their seat with their knees on my seat arm and in my lap. No, I don’t think overweight people are the problem — I think seats designed for a 1920′s butt that hasn’t been updated since is the problem, but then there would be fewer seats per plane, flying would be more relaxing, and flight attendants would have an easier time dealing with passengers — hmmm….

But mostly, people in the news and in advertising seem to think heavy people are lazy and don’t do anything. Most of the people I know are overweight. Of course they also work 12-14 hours per day and are on call the rest of the day doing IT work of one sort or another. Add the long days to long commutes and there’s not a lot of time to eat responsibly — you grab meals when you can and take what you can get. Most run on caffeine and sugar — that’s the problem for most Americans. We work long hours with long commutes and very little free time. Of course, I work at home but I still work long hours and have health issues so ….

But, I found this gem of an article in the New York Times, Excess Pounds, but Not Too Many, May Lead to Longer Life.  Evidently, skinny people and very heavy people may have health problems from weight issues but moderately heavy and normal (whatever that means) people live longer. There was a similar article about the study, Can A Little Extra Weight Protect People From Early Death? Underweight, Extremely Obese Die Earlier Than People Of Normal Weight in Science Daily. Yeah, for this new study.

I’ve known some skinny people with really bad health problems and some normal people and some heavy people. I may agree that carrying added weight can put some strain on the organs, but then so can a lot of other factors. You just can’t generalize about people on simply one factor and expect it to be taken seriously. I doubt if there is a single factor you could use that starts with “All whatever people are ____” and have it be true for every case. It isn’t true when you use race as that whatever and it certainly isn’t true when you use eye color, hair color, weight, or religion. People are too diverse and unique to use sweeping statements like that.

But I like this study because it found evidence that goes totally against what people have been saying for ages and seems to have some numbers to back it up. We need more studies to see just what being overweight does effect and these studies will hopefully be devoid of blame and accusations.

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