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August 30, 2012

Comments

The 'overweight' people living longer is totally a function of using BMI instead of more detailed measures of fatness. Body fat % and distribution of fat (is it on and under the abdominal muscles?). What is really at work is that people with more muscle are healthier. A 6' 200lb man with low body fat and well developed muscles is "overweight".

[HS: This is mere conjecture not based on fact. Just because people like the physical appearance of muscle doesn't mean it makes you live longer.]

BTW, also on the subject of deleterious health advice in the conventional wisdom, I've been waiting to share with you this review of a medical study that showed marathon runners are far more likely to suffer heart attack than a group of non-exercising controls.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/p-nu/201103/cardio-may-cause-heart-disease-part-i

Note, it's a very long article, but not without its pleasures. From page 3:

"Brueckmann and Mohlenkamp are German, but get points for an English level of understatement:

'...It seems safe to state that marathon runners most likely did not have a lower rate of [undiagnosed, localized heart-attacks] than did the healthy control subjects, who did not regularly exercise.'

Do you think that might be why this paper was in Radiology instead of JAMA or NEJM? Is that why there was no press conference before the paper came out?"

Regards.

As far as the calorie restriction debunk... Hahaha, yeah. I always joked about it that you don't live any longer, it just feels that way.

Regarding cardio, what is the point of diminishing returns (in terms of distance) for minimizing resting heart rate (as I am primarily trying to alter a physiological variable instead aiming for athletic achievement). I run about about 7 miles a week and do jumping jacks while watching TV and listening to music (since I think standing around is a waste of time and exercise burns some calories), and I had a resting heart rate of 52. I don't think I need run or train for marathons to minimize my heart rate.

LOL. Runners are so obsessive about their miles. They can't stop, they're sooo afraid they'll get FAT - oh god no!

The whole workout fad is whacky. Anymore I question the whole thing. My mother never worked out, was overweight yet still alive at 94. The point of life for her generation was to *not* work out. They seemed to live plenty long enough. The ones who died young from massive MI were smokers and drinkers and workaholics. NTTAWWT.

You know far too little to judge these results HS.

The NIA results contradict results already obtained in HUMANS. Human restrictors have NO risk for atherosclerotic heart disease and these monkeys were dying from it.

The NIA study contradicts the results in Wisconsin as to cause of death and risk of age related disease.

The NIA studies contradict results found in EVERY species studied except for the house fly.

The NIA study isn't over. Almost half the moneys are still alive.

The NIA results compared monkeys fed too little with those fed just enough. Not at all like the comparison between fat people and thin people.

The "overweight" with lower mortality may not have been fatter. The underweight may have been sick. Most of the underweight appear to me to be "skinny-fat". Married men live longer too HS. So take your own silly advice. Get married and stay fat.

Anything less than a six pack for men is something new in human history. Paleo man and primitive men today had/have very low body fat % and very well developed muscles compared to almost all Americans.

No surprise that marathoning should be bad for you. It's artificial. Just like being fat.

Just look at people who eat healthfully, exercise, get enough sleep and sun. They look younger!

"...was overweight yet still alive at 94..."

An Borgnine was fat his whole life. It's all about expectations nor individual cases.

If you want to maximize your life expectancy eat whole foods and exercise every day.

When you overeat, your body picks up its metabolism to get rid of the extra calories. As you get older, this process tends not to work as well, but it still works decently. That's why your typical paunchy middle-aged American can cut down on his eating and not lose very much weight. But he will feel cooler and more comfortable in hot weather.

Anyway, common sense says that the process of burning off extra calories is not very healthy. How can it improve your longevity to idle the engine at a high level of RPMs, so to speak?

I would be interested in seeing a study which compares monkeys that eat normally with monkeys that eat excessively. I'm pretty confident that the first group will live longer.

"No surprise that marathoning should be bad for you. It's artificial."

No surprise to you perhaps, but I have little doubt if you polled average Americans they would overwhelmingly say people who train and run marathons are healthier and live longer than those who do not. The irony of course is that the whole reason marathons are famous is that it killed the first guy that actually had to run one. :-)

The fact of the matter is smoking was so popular and so detrimental to health, that for damn near 40 years anyone that didn't smoke was so far ahead of the game it didn't matter what else they did. And thus, from an observational stand-point anything they did was correlated with improved health.

It's just within the last 10-15 years that enough people don't smoke and never have, that you can have populations that don't give a damn about health, still don't smoke and thus might be healthier that the conventional wisdom regarding exercise (more cardio the better) and diet (less fat the better) would expect.

In fact, just yesterday I saw an article in the newspaper about some SWPL putting her 11 y.o. on statins. Last year a govt appointed panel of "experts" decided all people should have their cholesterol checked starting from age 9. (http://www.oregonlive.com/health/index.ssf/2012/08/kids_high_cholesterol_sets_the.html) The bozo MD they found for the article thinks screening should start at age 2. These are the people that come to define the conventional wisdom. Right now it's only a marginal few sounding the warning bell on statins. Most people, and cardiologists exceptionally so, think they are as safe as vitamin supplements and thus should be taken like one.

My own hunch is that being thin is not so much related to being healthy as it is related to being fertile. Men like thin women, not because they are healthier, but because they are more fertile than heavier women.

"There has been this theory floating around that severe calorie restriction could lead to improved life expectancy.

As reported in the New York Times, a 25-year-long experiment on monkeys shows that this is not the case."

More evidence the low carb diet gurus like Atkins and Taubes were right all along. If cutting calories doesn't reduce weight, then what we eat is what's causing the obesity epidemic and the food type that is entirely responsible for the obesity crisis is the carbohydrate group of foods.

Even SWPLs are now backtracking from their embrace of the catastrophic government endorsed (yes, redundant..) low-fat & high carb diets. Now SWPLdom is going on variations of low carb diets like the gluten free diet and snooty sounding European low carb diets such as the Dukan diet.

"As reported in the New York Times, a 25-year-long experiment on monkeys shows that this is not the case."

More evidence the low carb diet gurus like Atkins and Taubes were right all along. If cutting calories doesn't reduce weight, then what we eat is what's causing the obesity epidemic and the food type that is entirely responsible for the obesity crisis is the carbohydrate group of foods."

This monkey study involved severe caloric restriction, which is different than most diets involving reducing calories. Most diets reduce calories, especially for people who eat too many calories to begin with, but not to the extreme degree of caloric restriction.

The carbohydrate hypothesis of obesity is incorrect: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/08/carbohydrate-hypothesis-of-obesity.html

Low carb diets work because they help you eat fewer calories. Not because carbs in and of themselves cause obesity. When you eat fewer carbs, you replace them with more protein and fat, which make you feel less hungry, and thus you eat fewer calories, and then lose weight.

@Nicolai Yezhov:

"The NIA results contradict results already obtained in HUMANS. Human restrictors have NO risk for atherosclerotic heart disease and these monkeys were dying from it."

That means nothing. Human calorie restrictors are self-selected. They could be a healthier bunch overall.

@Joe Walker:

"Men like thin women, not because they are healthier, but because they are more fertile than heavier women."

You've got evidence of that? Almost certainly that is not true...

I thought live to advanced old age was primarily genetic.

I researched and briefly summarized the info on fats and carbs the last time the issue of diet was raised on Siggy's blog. I apologize for linking to my own blog but my post can be found here:

http://destructure.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/not-all-fats-and-carbs-are-the-same/

jayman:
"You've got evidence of that? Almost certainly that is not true..."

so certain are you?

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn4953-barbieshaped-women-more-fertile.html

"Large-breasted, narrow-waisted women have the highest reproductive potential, according to a new study, suggesting western men's penchant for women with an hourglass shape may have some biological justification.

Women with a relatively low waist-to-hip ratio and large breasts had about 30 per cent higher levels of the female reproductive hormone estradiol than women with other combinations of body shapes, found Grazyna Jasienska, at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland and colleagues."

***

http://infertility.about.com/od/researchandstudies/a/BMIsubfertile.htm

"While studies connecting obesity to anovulation are not news, a study led by Dr. Van der Steeg, a medical researcher at the Academic Medical Center in The Netherlands, shows that even women who regularly ovulate experience sub-fertility when their BMI (body mass index) is in the overweight or obese category."

really, common sense should tell you that being overweight, even a little bit, is bad for a woman's fertility. men didn't evolve a strong universal preference for women with a 0.7 waist-hip ratio and BMI 17-23 in a vacuum.

"I thought live to advanced old age was primarily genetic." -- Gil

Some people are more susceptible to certain diseases such as heart disease and lung cancer. So if one eats poorly or smokes then they are more likely to get one of those diseases and die early. If they avoid those behaviors (and, thus, avoid those diseases) they could add years or decades to their lives. Most other people can benefit (to a lesser extent) from a healthy diet and exercise. It might add a couple (or even a few) more years of health and longevity but it's not going to get them to 100. Getting to 100 is largely genetic. But even if one doesn't have the genetics to make it to 100 then adding a few more years of healthy life is still better than a sharp stick in the eye.

"Low carb diets work because they help you eat fewer calories. Not because carbs in and of themselves cause obesity."

Mmm, whatever.

Either way, the low carb gurus were right that the best long term weight loss plan is low or reduced carb.

@CH:

"Women with a relatively low waist-to-hip ratio and large breasts had about 30 per cent higher levels of the female reproductive hormone estradiol than women with other combinations of body shapes"

"even women who regularly ovulate experience sub-fertility when their BMI (body mass index) is in the overweight or obese category."

The problem, of course, is that waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) ≠ BMI. A woman can have a low WHR and a highish BMI. Here are few examples:

http://getsomehairapy.wordpress.com/2008/05/05/happy-mothers-day-and-thanks-for-the-fat-thighs/

http://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-8503.html

http://curvycomments.blogspot.com/2010/08/plus-size-only-runway-show-during-nyfw.html

I suspect that in the second study, the women of all body shapes were lumped in the higher BMI category. I'd bet that if you control for WHR, the connection between fertility and BMI would disappear or even reverse. WHERE a woman puts on fat (which is under genetic control) is just as important, if not more important, than how much fat she has. Women with low WHR will have higher levels of female hormones (likely regardless of BMI), as the first study indicates.

@CH:

I will also add:

"men didn't evolve a strong universal preference for women with a 0.7 waist-hip ratio and BMI 17-23 in a vacuum."

The 0.7 WHR preference has been fairly strongly demonstrated to be universal, but has a preference for that BMI range also found to be the same across multiple ethnic groups?

@destructure:

"So if one eats poorly or smokes then they are more likely to get one of those diseases and die early. If they avoid those behaviors (and, thus, avoid those diseases) they could add years or decades to their lives."

Except that those behaviors are *also* influenced by genetics, which is part of the observed heritability of longevity.

From the link posted above by Jacob Galil:

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/08/carbohydrate-hypothesis-of-obesity.html

"Finally, let's take a look at my country, the United States of America. Total energy intake has increased since the 1970s, and the excess energy came from carbohydrate (primarily refined). But what happens if we go back further, to the turn of the 20th century?"

"If we take the long view, the only thing that has consistently increased is fat, not carbohydrate. The prevalence of obesity was very low at the turn of the century (36), yet our diet was 57% carbohydrate by calories, much of which came from white flour."

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