NY TIMES: by Gina Kolata
“HEALTH and beauty. They seem inextricable. That smiling, slender woman on the cover of Self magazine. The ripped guy looking out from the pages of Men’s Health. They’re thin. Their eyes are bright. They look like they’re bursting with energy.
They may well be. But they might be better off if they had listened to their grandmother and put a little meat on those bones. Chubby, it turns out, may be the new healthy. Who knows if it will be the new beautiful.
Above: Paul Rubens painting; Click here to see it on the website where I fetched the image from – which has a short piece on body image in American culture.
Two years ago, federal researchers found that overweight people had the lowest mortality rate of any weight group. Investigating further, they were able to link causes of death to specific weights. Obese people had more deaths from heart disease, they reported last week. And thin people? They had more deaths from everything but cancer and heart disease.
But there were 100,000 fewer deaths among the overweight than would have been expected if those people had been of normal weight. This is what might politely be called the chubby category, with body mass indexes (a measure of weight for height) of 25 to 30. A woman, for instance, who is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs between 146 and 175 pounds.”