The Obesity Paradox: When Thinner Means Sicker and Heavier Means Healthier

The Obesity Paradox: When Thinner Means Sicker and Heavier Means Healthier

by Carl J. Lavie


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Most of us think that longevity hinges on maintaining a normal Body Mass Index. But research conducted over the last decade hit the media in January with explosive news: Overweight and even moderately obese people with certain chronic diseases—from heart disease to cancer— often live longer and fare better than normalweight individuals with the same ailments.

In this groundbreaking book, Carl Lavie, MD, reveals the science behind the obesity paradox and shows us how to achieve maximum health rather than minimum weight. Lavie not only explains how extra fat provides additional fuel to help fight illness, he also argues that we’ve gotten so used to framing health issues in terms of obesity that we overlook other potential causes of disease. Picking up where the bestseller Fat Chance left off, The Obesity Paradox will change the conversation about fat—and what it means to be healthy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594632440
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/03/2014
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Carl “Chip” Lavie, MD, is a board-certified cardiologist at the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute in New Orleans, a pioneer in ‘obesity paradox’ heart research, and the author or co-author of more than 800 journal articles and two medical textbooks. Dr. Lavie is editor-in-chief of Progress in Cardiovascular Disease, Associate Editor of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, and is on the editorial boards of many major journals. He’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, AARP, Runner’s World, and many other media outlets. He lives in Metairie, LA. 

Kristin Loberg is a professional writer with multiple New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers to her credit, including Dr. David Perlmutter’s Grain Brain, Dr. David B. Agus's The End of Illness, and Brenda Watson's The Fiber35 Diet. A graduate of Cornell University, she lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Miseducation of Fat xiii

Part I A Paradox for the Ages

Chapter 1 Obesity: What Does That Really Mean? 3

Chapter 2 The Ultimate Scapegoat: The Conventional Wisdom About Obesity as a Modern Scourge 27

Chapter 3 Fat Real Estate: Does Location Matter? 54

Chapter 4 A Big Deal: You Can Be Fat, Fit, and Remarkably Healthy 64

Chapter 5 Getting to the "Fat" of the Matter: The Obesity Paradox 92

Part II The Purpose and Power of Fat

Chapter 6 Fat Fundamentals: Why Do We Need It Anyway? 121

Chapter 7 From Bagels and Broccoli to Body Fat: How Does It Get There (and How Does It Get Burned)? 140

Chapter 8 Cause and Effect: The Real Killer Isn't Obesity 151

Part III Striking the Balance

Chapter 9 Walking the Fine Line: When Sweating Breaks Your Heart 175

Chapter 10 Your Personal Prescription: 10 Principles for Minding the U-Curve 185

Epilogue: Survival of the Fittest 226

Acknowledgments 235

Notes 239

Index 263

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for The Obesity Paradox:

“Everyone who struggles with weight should read this important book. Dr. Lavie presents the science to support the truth that being overweight and even moderately obese may correlate with better long-term health and greater longevity—if you stay fit by making good food choices and maintain sensible physical activity.  The Obesity Paradox is a story that has not been told in such a clear, evidence-based way.  It challenges conventional wisdom and is exciting to read.”—Andrew Weil, MD, author of 8 Weeks to Optimum Health and Spontaneous Happiness
“Dr. Lavie brings clarity to compelling cutting-edge science, fully validating the desperately important role of modifiable lifestyle choices in rewriting your health destiny. The Obesity Paradox offers up yet another challenge to some of our most long-held but unfounded beliefs in the health arena, especially when it comes to body fat. And he reinforces an often overlooked ingredient to living a good long life despite weight: the value of fitness. The Obesity Paradox is a must read.”—David Perlmutter, MD, author of Grain Brain
"In a society preoccupied with thinness, objectivity about how our weight relates to our health is often lost, and subtleties overlooked.  In The Obesity Paradox, Dr. Carl Lavie masterfully explores the relationship between body weight and health, giving us a balanced and uniquely illuminating perspective.  If you want the whole truth and real understanding, lay down your preconceptions, and pick up The Obesity Paradox."—David Katz, MD, author of Disease-Proof

The Obesity Paradox is an important contribution to our understanding of one of the most interesting and unusual observations in medicine today.  This book is highly recommended reading. ”—Joe Alpert, MD, Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Medicine

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The Obesity Paradox: When Thinner Means Sicker and Heavier Means Healthier 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
About a year ago, I found a book called The Hungry Chick Dieting Solution. My family thought i was just another diet book, until they started seeing the weight that I lost. It has been a year and I am still at my goal weight. I learned that I didn't have to be skinny to be healthy Then, last week, I found this book The Obesity Paradox and it validated everything that I was feeling and have been doing. My suggestion, read the Obesity Paradox to understand the why is being healthy is more important than being skinny. Then, buy The Hungry Chick Dieting Solution to find out how to do it. Oh and if you are wondering how much weight did I lose, it was 23 pounds. I have never felt better.