The book ‘The Obesity paradox’ by Dr. Carl J. Lavie was published in 2014. The author of this ‘poke in the eye of conventional medical wisdom’ Dr. Lavie says that “once you get high blood pressure, blocked heart arteries and peripheral arterial disease, the obese patients do better than the lean patients.”
Dr. Lavie is Professor of Medicine and Medical Director, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Preventive Cardiology; Director, Exercise Testing Laboratory; and Staff Cardiologist, Echocardiographic Laboratory at the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute in New Orleans, Ochsner Clinical School-The University of Queensland School of Medicine.
He has authored over 800 medical publications and 2 cardiology textbooks, and his name is firmly established in medical world, especially in regards to cardiology.
Dr. Lavie stated that “…numerous studies have documented an obesity paradox in which overweight and obese people with established cardio-vascular disease…have a better prognosis compared with non-overweight / non-obese patients.”
According to the so-called “obesity paradox,” the additional fat on the obese person can be a boon in battling heart disease. It’s thought that though obesity can be the cause of various diseases, the “metabolic reserve” in an obese person gives them more energy to fight a disease.
But before you reach for that slice of cheesecake, you should know that this study doesn’t exactly give you carte blanche in the diet department. Dr. Lavie still advises his obese patients to try and lose weight. Because, the doctor says, trimming down is still the best way to avoid getting sick in the first place.
Abandoning weight loss as a goal — taking it off the table completely — and refocusing on personally meaningful, healthy behaviours seem like our best shot at true wellness. Sandra Aamodt, neuroscientist and author of “Why Diets Make Us Fat,” says that a lot of the health problems we associate with obesity are actually a consequence of not getting enough exercise. “It’s crazy that as a society we have chosen to focus on weight loss rather than improving fitness and nutrition, which are easier and more important,” she says.
“People make all these behavioural changes then quit because they didn’t lose weight,” Aamodt says. “When you define health in terms of weight, that is the risk you take.” Instead, Scritchfield suggests, make changes that matter to you for reasons that go beyond weight, such as better digestion, more energy, better sleeping patterns or having a better attitude toward food. “The key factor is to make choices that fit you best, that make you feel good, and trust that you will be at a weight that is healthy for you,” she says. You don’t need a scale for that.