New study claims link between diabetes and obesity is a myth

Mon, 07 Jun 2010
Research published in the Journal of Obesity in the US has claimed that people who are overweight or obese are not more susceptible to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure . The study of about 18,000 adults analysed their health based on how many prescription medications they were taking, and examined the relationship between body mass index (BMI), current health, age and gender.

The results from the tests found that overweight and obese people experienced no adverse health effects until they were 40, and that from 25 to 70 there was little difference in their health as compared with people of regular weight.

Brant Jarrett, who was lead author of the study, said "Our findings show being overweight is no different from being what we believe is a healthy weight and this is across a person's entire lifespan."

However, the study has received criticism in the media in the UK. Professor Philip James, President of the International Obesity Taskforce, said "This is an odd finding and conflicts with a wealth of other studies. Body mass index is not a very accurate predictor of risk. It is a crude and arbitrary figure but many other studies show if someone is overweight or obese it will increase their risk of health problems later on in life."

Dr. Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, pointed out that "It is somewhat irresponsible to conclude from this single piece of research that obesity ills are a myth. The research does not support that assumption and does not challenge our current understanding of the effects of being overweight or obese on our long-term health."
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