There’s good news for fatties, and expats might want to restrict their exercise to jogging over to the panadería.
Being fat can actually be good for you, according to a report from York University in Toronto. The study found that obese people who are otherwise healthy live just as long as their slim counterparts and are less likely to die of cardiovascular causes.
That also is good news for Costa Ricans, who usually have a diet that seems designed to put on an average of about three kilos a year. Some 18-year-old thin-as-a-rail Ticas are ready to try out as a sumo wrestler by the time they are 35 and after four kids.
The university team looked at 6,000 obese Americans over a 16-year span, comparing their mortality risk with that of lean individuals, said a report on the study, which was published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism.
Shakespeare appeared to have it right years ago when his Caesar said: Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look, He thinks too much; such men are dangerous.
Expats in Costa Rica, particularly retirees, frequently gravitate to what has been considered an unhealthy diet and demon rum. For some the only exercise is aerobic beer drinking: Knocking down the cans of beer until the breath is coming short and the face is red. And then there are special temptations.
The report is sure to be a benefit for those pastry outlets in Central Valley shopping malls where extra greasy donuts mingle with chocolate eclairs. And then there is Spoon, which knows how to pack about 5,000 calories in a tiny, delicious bite.
Based on the York University study, expats no longer have to drool past the eclairs and can binge at Spoon. Oh, and La Pops where some of the best ice cream in the world can be found. Then. Too, there are the fast food joints that are universally condemned by those skinny folks who know what is best for everyone.
Excess weight seems to be related to political beliefs, too. York University did not study this, but it’s not the Republicans who want to fight global warming by cutting down the food intake of U.S. citizens to 500 calories a day.
The York study is unlikely to have much effect on those folks.
There also is a statistical relationship between thin people and wealth. The general theory is that the wealthy can obtain more nutritious foods and live in a culture where thin is good. An alternate view might be that the wealthy are thin because they spend so much time worrying about others stealing their money.
Of course the downside of being a fattie in Costa Rica is the general unavailability of large size clothing. Chubby expats are reduced to shopping at the Ropa American used clothing stores to find XXXL discards from the U.S.
The York study also used data from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study, consisting of 29,533 individuals, and assessed their mortality 16 years later. They found no difference in death risks between normal-weight individuals and obese individuals.
Researcher Jennifer Kuk, assistant professor in York, said that it is possible that trying – and failing – to lose weight may be more detrimental than simply staying at an elevated body weight and engaging in a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity and a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Editor’s Note: Wine is made from fruit. So is cider. And chocolate grows on a tree. Whipped cream is in the milk food group along with Baileys Irish Cream. Beer and whiskeys are just processed grain. Guaro is just processed sugar cane.