This unbalanced view ignores other well-documented studies showing that weight, and particularly abdominal girth, is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In addition, do I need to remind you that excess weight is associated with a multitude of other conditions including sleep apnea, infertility, arthritis, depression anxiety, and certain cancers? Less commonly known is that obesity can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease--an asymptomatic condition, that can lead to liver fibrosis or cirrhosis. In children, obesity contributes to poor academic performance, bullying and low self-esteem. The list goes on and on.
So, while getting fit is associated with reducing some health risks, failing to tackle the fat problem is linked to many more.
No, you can't be obese and healthy just like you can't be a smoker and be healthy. The Surgeon General has a responsibility to educate Americans based on evidence-based medicine rather than politically correct messages. And, while every public figure deserves their privacy, she should take a lesson from her boss and stop dodging the issue.
Dr. Benjamin, your "prescription" to Americans is delivering a dangerous message.