A few years ago, Mercedes Carnethon, a diabetes researcher at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, found herself pondering a conundrum. Obesity is the primary risk factor forType 2 diabetes, yet sizable numbers of normal-weight people also develop the disease. Why?
In research conducted to answer that question, Dr. Carnethon discovered something even more puzzling: Diabetes patients of normal weight are twice as likely to die as those who are overweight or obese. That finding makes diabetes the latest example of a medical phenomenon that mystifies scientists. They call it the obesity paradox.
In study after study, overweight and moderately obese patients with certain chronic diseases often live longer and fare better than normal-weight patients with the same ailments. The accumulation of evidence is inspiring some experts to re-examine long-held assumptions about the association between body fat and disease…Read More