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Friday, July 1, 2016



  • The stock market fall today continued because of Brexit (scroll down to view my two postings on this subject on Wednesday and Friday--or go to the right column and find those articles near the bottom in BLOG ARCHIVES), but the drop was less than half of what happened on Friday, with Japan and China showing positive movement.  The U.S. Dow could well decline a total of 1000 (-5.5%) points during this Friday-Monday two-day period, but most European stocks sunk at least 10%.  Generally (maybe two-thirds of the time) recession follows six months or so after a 10%-15% decline of the market.  So let's see what this coming Friday brings, and some recovery from today can be anticipated.  However, the Brexit affect on the world economy awaits where things will be around the time of U.S. Presidential Elections this Fall.
  • At a cost of $5.4 billion, the Panama Canal Extension opened to commercial traffic yesterday with a Chinese container ship, the Cosco Shipping's Andronikos, re-named Panama.  The first position was earned from a lottery of the largest shipping companies.
Now, about your personal health, something extraordinary seems to be shaping up that will have monumental consequences to our lifestyle.  For some time now a variety of studies has shown curious evidence that slightly overweight people actually seemed to live the longest.  Initially, it was felt that just the extra body fat for those who became ill was surmised to be the reason.  However, something more than that appears now to be at work that is, indeed, surprising.

Four decades ago, the world had twice the number of underweight people than those obese.  Today, there are more obese individuals that those underweight.  However, while this trend towards fatter people continues upwards, women in Singapore, Japan, Czech Republic, Belgium, France and Switzerland have maintained about the same Body Mass Index (BMI) during these past 40 years.  Funny, though, that as we get more overweight, global life expectancies have also continued to increase.  While the above sentences seem confusing, it is important to understand that overweight has long been considered to be unacceptable,  but now, as you shall see, could well be desired, but obesity should still be avoided.

No doubt Americans are probably way too fat:  35% of men and 40% of women were obese in 2014.  The 38% obesity average is an increase of 34% since 2006.  Here is where we were in 2012:

Oh my gosh!!!  (If you can't read the fine print, click on it to view how much more obese Americans are than most of the world.)  One indicator of how obesity (note, again, this is fatter than overweight) is that the USA has a lower life expectancy than most developed countries:

Countries previously deprived but now more developed, such as Kuwait and Egypt, also have abnormally high obesity, even more so than that of the U.S.  Same especially applies to islanders

According to long established tradition, you want a Body-Mass Index (BMI) between 19 and 25.  Polynesian and Micronesia women have an average BMI of 34.8.  More than 38% of men and more than 50% of women are obese.  When you board Polynesian Airlines, a stewardess is there to pass out seat belt extensions.  People on islands, said to be genetically hard-wired to store fat for survival, combined with certain cultural proclivities, such as a larger physique being a mark of higher status, are at play here.  I noticed watching TV one day that the softball (female) players from Nanakuli and Waianae, with high Polynesia enrollments, were mostly obese, so, even in Hawaii, we are faced with this situation.

  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Dyslipidemia -– An abnormal concentration of fat in the bloodstream. 
  • Type 2 diabetes – Insulin resistant diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease – The buildup of plaques in the main arteries of the heart.
  • Stroke – The blockage of blood flow to the brain
  • Gallbladder Disease – Can cause nausea and fever, caused by gallstones.
  • Sleep Apnea – Problems breathing during sleep.
  • Respiratory Problems
Add to the above, low self-esteemshorter life expectancy (yes, this source said this, but in reference to the morbidly obese) and a crummier social life.

Ah, but what about those comprehensive studies saying overweight people live longer than normal ones?  Apparently, the ideal BMI for Italian women is 33, which is obese.  This same article also indicated that the accepted medical advice that 3 drinks per day or more was bad for your health was, really, plucked out of the air.  There is NO EVIDENCE proving this admonition.  In any case, the latest body of medical data shows that normal people don't live as long as those overweight.  Let me repeat this:  overweight people have a higher life expectancy than those who are normal!!!  One example:

But, again, this table just reinforces the survival advantage of being overweight.  Is it only the chronically ill that benefits from poundage?  How, then, to gain weight and simultaneously reducing all that "badness" about obesity because being overweight also means you should begin to suffer the symptoms of obesity?  Frankly, I'm still confused, but willing enjoy the consequences.

One point to underscore is that as the world has gotten fatter, the life expectancy has actually continued to increase.  Is it more because people out of poverty, such as in Africa, now live longer?  Or, do overweight people actually live longer?

 From as far back as 2009, this report showed that in comparison to normal:

  • Those classified as underweight were 73% more likely to die.
  • Those extremely obese with BMI of 35 or greater were 36% more likely to die.
  • Those classified as obese with BMI 30-34.9 had about the same risk of death.
  • Those classified as overweight with BMI 25-29.9 were 17% less likely to die.
My reading of the above is that normal people have the same life expectancy as those obese, and the overweight with  a BMI between 25-29.9 live the longest.  Why wasn't all this publicized seven years ago?
The media picked this up but the medical profession just could not quite embrace something so counterintuitive.  Then just last month:  people who have a BMI of 27 now have the lowest risk of dying in the United Kingdom.  (I show these two flags just to link Captain Cook to Hawaii, our flag above, whereas to the right is that of the United Kingdom.)

My BMI is around 23.5, about the lowest I've been in two or three decades.  I need to gain 10 pounds just to get to a BMI of 25.  Most of my adult life I wanted to lose 10 pounds.   Now, I like it, but feel uncomfortable about trying to gain weight.  To reach BMI 27, I must add 25 pounds. That's insane.  I'll certainly need to ask my neighbor, who is a medical doctor, what he thinks, and also, my personal physician.  In the meantime, because of this almost overwhelming reversal of medical sense, I find myself enjoying more snacks and generally eating what I want.  I'm curious at how medical science will respond this time.  I'm awaiting a reasoned backlash.


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