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Fat and Happy

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Fat people live longer.

That's what a brand-spankin' 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 many millions of people

who are overweight and healthy as can be.

My personal theory is that people 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-years-old 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:

Add a Comment2 Comments

Fat and Happy! Great title. My take on this article is that a person will be happier without obsessing over the number on the scale. Live in such a way that you are eating/exercising/breathing for good sustainable health, not for our societies idea of beauty. Enjoy life, love yourself... buy bigger pants every decade? :)

Refreshing article Tommy!

February 3, 2010 - 3:32pm

Hi Susan,
I love that you contribute comments.
I admit I struggled with your comment
here today.
Most people are a little overweight.
I advocate a little chub.
I also tell everyone they should exercise
and eat well.
Like we discussed with your heels,
beauty is not sustainable. Health
and vitality can be prolonged.
That's it.

February 3, 2010 - 2:44pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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