Fat people live longer.
That's what a "brand spanking new" study published in The Journal of The American Geriatrics Society says. The 9,000 person study showed that overweight (BMI 25-29) elderly people were 13 percent less likely to die over a ten year period than those who kept their weight within the recommended range.
Although we live in a society hell-bent on beauty, there are millions of people who are overweight and healthy as can be. My personal theory is that people may naturally put on ten pounds a decade, or a pound a year and there's nothing wrong with that.
My friend, let's call her Julie, is in her mid-forties. She exercises an hour a day, eats well, takes care of herself and carries about 25 extra pounds. She is active and looks very healthy. If Julie has bouts of mad dieting or extreme exercise, I have never seen or heard of it. She's happy with herself.
Another 30-pound overweight, over 40+ friend surprised me one day when she told me she was an Ironman triathlete and getting ready to compete again. Shocked at the notion, I said, "When will you start training again?" She laughed and said, "I'm running 15 miles a day right now." She is also happy.
BMI and waist circumference should not be strong indicators of health and ability. Some of the greatest athletes in history have been overweight. Shaquille O'Neal would blow the BMI curve. So would George Foreman and Babe Ruth.
Here is a list of overweight athletes who won gold medals in the 2004 Athens Olympics:
Fupa + gold medal = Fat & Happy
In China, a chubby belly is an indicator of health and wealth. Rubbing the belly of a Chinese Buddha is said to bring good luck. Chinese women prefer a man with a paunch.
In many cultures, heavier women are the "shiznit". In Renaissance art, the Rubenesque beauty of Venus on the Half Shell and the Mona Lisa portray the larger size as highly prized. This 20,000-year-old Mesopotamian sculpture says a lot about beauty in that time: http://correodelasculturas.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/venus-of-willendo.
Who's more jolly than Old Saint Nick ?