Study: Fat people benefit the most from healthy habits
Another quick link.
There's a new study out in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine: Healthy Lifestyle Habits and Mortality in Overweight and Obese Individuals. It's from a research group at the Medical University of South Carolina. The link above leads to the full study.
Here, "Healthy Lifestyle Habits" are defined as
- eating 5 or more fruits and vegetables daily,
- exercising regularly,
- consuming alcohol in moderation, and
- not smoking.
From the abstract:
When stratified into normal weight, overweight, and obese groups, all groups benefited from the adoption of healthy habits, with the greatest benefit seen within the obese group.
This table is from page 13 of the study. At the bottom are the number of healthy habits (out of the four above) that the subjects followed. The hazard ratios along the side are the comparative risks of dying early, with a BMI 18-25 person with four healthy habits set as "1". Anything above one is a higher risk.
Two things really jump out at me. First, the more healthy habits we have, the more our life expectancy matches the life expectancy of thin people with the same habits. When we've got all four, the gap is pretty much closed. Second, it's only the fat people with no healthy habits who have a dramatically reduced life expectancy in comparison to thinner people.
This is a strong confirmation of what HAES advocates have been saying for years.