Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Better Fit Than Fat

An elder woman keeps fit by using fitness machines at a 'fitness playground' in Berlin, in August. People over 60 who exercise and are fit live longer than their sedentary peers, regardless of weight and body mass, researchers said in a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).(AFP/DDP/File/Yannik Willing)

Boston Globe: Being fat and fit is better than being thin and sedentary, study says

WASHINGTON - When it comes to living longer, fitness may trump fatness, US researchers said yesterday.

Men and women who were fit, as judged by a treadmill test, but were overweight or obese had a lower mortality risk than those of normal weight but low fitness levels, the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed.

Exercise specialist Steven Blair of the University of South Carolina and colleagues tracked about 2,600 people age 60 and older, examining how physical fitness and body fat affected their death rates over 12 years. Those in the lowest fifth in terms of fitness had a death rate four times higher than participants ranked in the top fifth.

"Being fit provides protection against mortality in these men and women 60 and older, whether they're normal weight, overweight, or obese," Blair said.

Note to self, bring up this study the next time my doctor drones on and on about how I need to be as thin as she is.

Note to self, get a doctor who's not a size 6. I wasn't size 6 in 8th grade!

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