One point that Dr. Lavie writes about is that the notion that being fat also means that a person is unhealthy has actually been dis-proven by many studies over the last decade or so. Researchers have been learning that people who are in the overweight or obese BMI [body mass index] categories may actually be metabolically healthy [show no indicators of increased cholesterol, C-Reactive Protein, insulin resistance, and other common indicators of unhealthiness]. And, other studies have shown that many overweight people who have had myocardial incidents [such as heart attacks] seem to recover better and live longer than those with leaner BMI.
Researchers are trying to tease out the variables that could be in play in this evidence; some hypothesize that certain kinds of fat in certain places in the body may actually have protective factors.
But, as we all know, the body is a complex creature, and the variables at play are many.
Lavie does not recommend that those who are lean should bulk up and become fatter. However, his and other research indicates that it may well be that fitness, cardiovascular and muscle mass in particular, may sometimes or often be better indicators of health than BMI alone. People who are overweight but are fit seem to fare better against disease and disorders than those who are lean and unfit [and they are called metabolically healthy].
I havenʻt yet finished the book, so Iʻll be sharing some additional insight and information from Dr. Lavie. Itʻs quite fascinating to read about the debates that researchers are having regarding BMI [it appears to be a somewhat poor indicator of health, and researchers are proposing other indicators in addition to that], as well as the fat/fitness debate.
So, more to come! :)