By “husky” Emmet
My sainted mother used to call it “husky.” When we would start shopping for my new Easter suit we would go downtown to Kennedy’s where she would ask for the “husky” section. But she wasn’t fooling anyone, especially me.
All right, I have been “husky” most of my life, when I wasn’t hovering close to death. That is not the very worst thing in the world, apparently.
In my daily research (surfing the web for ball scores) I have discovered something called the “Obesity Paradox” which lends me comfort. I hate to say it, but my skinny friends are having a bewildering display of back operations, front operations, heart attacks and the like. Some of them are getting…old.
As my great and good friend “biker” Harting told me from his (heart attack) hospital bed “Whatever you are doing, keep doing it.” I planned to do that anyway, but now I feel much better about it.
Let’s pay attention to by New Best Friend, David L. Katz.
“The obesity paradox refers to the fact that sometimes being heavier – even being overweight or slightly obese – is associated with lower, rather than higher, death rates. Severe obesity is consistently, uncontroversially and unparadoxically bad for health, so it’s not part of the discussion,” he said.
. I consider severe obesity to be anyone fatter than I, like David Grima.I discard the label of “severe obesity” in favor of “husky.”
Katz says there has long been attention to the obesity paradox concept, even when it wasn’t referred to by that name. “Colleagues of mine, for instance, have long made the point that it’s possible to be fat and fit and that being fit but fat is better than being unfit and lean. That is true, and the relatively small number of people who are truly fit and somewhat fat nonetheless explain away some portion of the paradox.”
Davy says that there are fat areas that are better than others. The hips, thighs and buttocks are slightly less harmful. (I am not going to like this.)
In contrast, weight accumulation around the middle, which tends to predominate in men and women after menopause, is associated with fat accumulation in the liver, insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome. This android or “apple” pattern of obesity clearly is harmful much of the time.
I knew I wouldn’t like it.
Doctors rarely have to worry about our older patients gaining weight. Chronic and serious illness tends to go the other way.
“This well-established fact of medicine suggests that, among older people, keeping some meat on them bones would tend to be a good thing. And that, really, is what the obesity paradox is all about. Older people who manage to stay overweight or slightly obese despite being older tend to do better. I don’t find this at all surprising, as it may simply mean the converse: older people who are doing better tend to hang onto their weight.”
Being heavy isn’t always harmful. Older people who hang onto their body mass are generally better off than older people who start wasting away, Katz said.
I am in no danger of wasting away.
More good news. “Butter is back” (like it ever went anywhere.) Of course, I tried all the fake butter like “I can’t tell it’s not butter.” Life is too short to skip Irish butter.
Julia Child, goddess of fat, is beaming somewhere, said New York Times columnist Mark Bittman. “Butter is back, and when you’re looking for a few chunks of pork for a stew, you can resume searching for the best pieces — the ones with the most fat. Eventually, your friends will stop glaring at you as if you’re trying to kill them,” he said.
Several weeks ago, a study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found that there’s just no evidence to support the notion that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease. (In fact, there’s some evidence that a lack of saturated fat may be damaging.) “The researchers looked at 72 different studies and, as usual, said more work, including more clinical studies, is needed. For sure. But the days of skinless chicken breasts and tubs of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter may finally be drawing to a close,” Bittman said and I believe him.
I am taking Harting’s advice. Pass the Kerrygold Irish butter, please.