Research Concerning Big Folks FAQ

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Jun 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/8/98

Archive-name: fat-acceptance-faq/research
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Last-modified: January 7th, 1997
Version: 2.0

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
about Research Concerning Big Folks

This document contains information about research concerning
fat people, on a variety of topics.

If you don't find what you're looking for here, try one of the related
FAQs (see question B1 for a complete list).


Changes from Last Version

Added various references by Garn:
one in section A1, which discusses the issue of what a "healthy" weight is,
one in section A2, which relates blood pressure to fatness,
one in section A5, about the mortality of men in the West of Scotland.

I'm still collecting information.
Please do send any info you have. The URL is


SECTION A: FAQ about research concerning fat people

What research is there on...
A1) The Great Weight Debate
A2) Various Illnesses/Conditions and Fat People
A3) Conception and Pregnancy for Fat Women
A4) Causes of Obesity
A5) Life Expectancy of Fat People
A6) Fatness and Fitness
A7) Social Aspects of Fatness
A8) Weight Change in Fat People
A9) Eating Disorders and Obesity

SECTION B: Information about this FAQ

B1) Are there other related FAQs?
B2) Posting information
B3) Availability of the FAQ
B4) Contributors


SECTION A: FAQ about research concerning fat people

A1) The Great Weight Debate

[AB] R.P.Abernathy & D.R.Black:
"Is adipose tissue oversold as a health risk?"
Journal of the American Dietetic Association, June 1994,
vol. 94, no. 6, pp. 641--644.

"Is Obesity Hazardous to Your Health?"
see Debates in Medicine, Yearbook medical publishers, 1989 vol. 2, pp. 102--137

[EH] P.Ernsberger & P.Haskew:
"Health implications for obesity: An alternative view"
Journal of Obesity and Weight Regulation, 1987, vol. 6, pp. 58--137

[Garn] S.M.Garn
"Fractionating healthy weight"
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 1996 vol.63, no.3,
Supplement pp. 412S--414S
Discusses what a healthy weight is, considering the criteria
used to define healthy, and that a weight advantageous for one
respect may be disadvantageous for another.

[GW] D.M.Garner & S.C.Wooley:
"Confronting the Failure of Behavioral and Dietary Treatments for Obesity",
Clinical Psychology Review, 1991, vol.11, pp. 729--780
Excellent long survey article, with many references to
research on the subject. Points out that diets are mostly
successful in the short term, but very ineffective in the long
term. Instead recommendations are made for improving the
lifestyle, health risk factors, body image and self-esteem
of fat people without requiring weightloss.

[Jhsn] F.E.Johnson:
"Health Implications of Childhood Obesity"
Annals of Internal Medicine, 1985, vol. 103, p1068
Just discusses the subject, with no stunning results.
Remembers to mention the social and psychological

[Mall] M.J. Mallick:
"Health Hazards of Obesity and Weight Control
in Children: A Review of the Literature"
American Journal of Public Health, 1983, vol. 73, pp. 78--82


A2) Various Illnesses/Conditions and Fat People

[Blo+] Bloom, Yano, Curb, Reed & MacLean:
"Smoking cessation and incidence of coronary heart disease"
CVD Epidemiology Newsletter (AHA), 1987, vol. 41, p. 36

from Clinical Symposia, 1988, vol. 40, no. 2

[Des] J.P.Deslypere
"Obesity and Cancer"
Metabolism, Sept, 1995, vol. 44, no. 9, supp. 3, pp. 24--27
Obesity is a risk factor for some forms of cancer, but there
are also other risk factors, such as distribution of fat,
hormone levels (fat people have more estrogen), a high-fat
low-fibre diet. They also take a look at the risk of breast
cancer, and it's difficult to see if obesity plays a role as
there are many other risk factors.
Obese people get less lung cancer.

[DGU] J.Dequeker, P.Goris and R.Uytterhoeven:
"Osteoporosis and osteoarthritis (osteoarthrosis). Anthropometric
Journal of the American Medical Association,
March 18th, 1983, vol. 249, no. 11, pp. 1448--1451
27 women with osteoporosis and 25 women with general
arthritis were studied. The former were shorter, more slender
and had less fat and muscle, whereas the latter were fatter
with more muscle mass and strength.

[Egu+] G.Egusa, W.F.Beltz, S.M.Grundy, B.V.Howard
"Influence of obesity on the metabolism of apolipoprotein B in humans"
The Journal of Clinical Investigation, August 1985, vol 76, no. 2,
pp. 596--603
Does have some interesting individual statistics that show
how much metabolism can vary from person to person.

[EN] P.Ernsberger and D.O.Nelson:
"Refeeding hypertension in dietary obesity"
American Journal of Physiology, 1988, vol. 254, pp. R47--R55

[Fel+] Felman et al.:
"Obesity and knee osteoarthritis: The Framingham Study"
Annals of Internal Medicine, July 1st 1988, vol. 109, no. 1, pp. 18--24
The objective was to determine whether obesity is a possible
cause for knee osteoarthritis. They found an increased risk
for men in the heaviest quintile, and an increased risk for
women in the heaviest and second-heaviest quintiles. They
conclude that obesity or as yet unknown factors associated
with obesity are risk factors for knee osteoarthritis.

[GSH] S.M.Garn, T.V.Sullivan and V.M.Hawthorne
"Effect of skinfold levels on lipids and blood pressure in younger
and older adults"
Journal of Gerontology, 1988, vol.43, no.6, pp. M170--4
They studied 5507 white participants, specifically looking at
three groups: older adolescents, younger adults and older adults.
In all three groups, they found that the fatter people (measured by
skinfold measurements) had higher blood pressure levels (systolic and
diastolic), and also higher in serum cholesterol and serum

[HG] E.C. Hammond and L. Garfinkel:
"Coronary heart disease, stroke, and anortic aneurysm: Factors in etiology"
Archives of Environmental Health, vol. 19, pp. 167--182

[Keys] A.Keys:
"Overweight, obesity, coronary heart disease, and mortality: the
W.O. Atwater Memorial Lecture"
Progress in Clinical Biology Research, 1981, vol. 67, pp. 31--46

[Lis+] Lissner, Odell, D'Agostino, et al:
"Framingham Heart Study"
New England Journal of Medicine, 1991, vol. 324, pp. 1839--1844

[Man+] Manson, Colditz, Stampfer, Willett, Rosner, Monson, Speizer & Hennekenes:
"A prospective study of obesity and risk of coronary heart disease
in women"
New England Journal of Medicine, 1990, vol. 322, pp. 882--889

[PLKB] Pettitt et al.:
"Mortality as a function of obesity and diabetes mellitus"
American Journal of Epidemiology 1981, vol.115, no.3, pp. 359--366
2197 Pima Indians were studied. For men, they had the highest
mortality risk at BMI more than 40, but BMI had no effect at lower
BMIs; diabetes was not related to mortality.
For women, death rates were not consistently related to fatness,
although diabetics had a higher risk than non-diabetics.

[RBSJ] E. Ravussin, B. Burnand, Y. Schutz, E. Jequier:
"Twenty-four-hour energy expenditure and resting metabolic rate in
obese, moderately obese, and control subjects"
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition March 1982
vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 566--573
Examined 30 subjects either lean, moderately obese and obese,
and compared resting metabolic rates and 24-hr energy expenditures.
Obese people had higher resting rates and 24-hr energy expenditures.
So large people don't just have a greater 24-hr EE just because
they have to move more weight around, they use more energy when
sitting still too, the study suggests this is due to more muscle
in the obese.

[RTP] C. Ribot, F. Tremollieres, J. M. Pouilles:
"The effect of obesity on postmenopausal bone loss and the risk of
Advances in Nutritional Research, 1994, vol. 9, pp. 257--271

[Sto+] C. Stout et al,:
"Unusually Low Incidence of Death from Myocardial Infarction..."
Journal of the American Medical Association, 1964, vol. 188, pp. 845--849

[Su+] Su et al.:
"Effect of weight loss on blood pressure and insulin resistance in
normotensive and hypertensive obese individuals"
American Journal of Hypertension, 1995, vol.8, no.11, pp. 1067--1071
22 people, 11 with high blood pressure were studied. Over
3 months both groups lost 8kg on average. Blood pressure
and insulin resistance was lowered in both groups.

[VVVV] J.L.van Saase, J.P.Vandenbroucke, L.k.van Romunde & H.A.Valkenburg
"Osteoarthritis and obesity in the general population. A relationship
calling for an explanation."
Journal of Rheumatology, July 1988, vol. 15, no. 7, pp. 1152--1158
20 joints and groups of joints, weight-bearing and
non-weight-bearing were investigated in 1071 men and 1097
women in the Netherlands. Osteoarthritis was positively
associated with obesity in weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing

[WCBP] R.B.Wallace, C.Rost, L.F.Burmeister, P.R.Pomrehn
"Cancer incidence in humans: relationship to plasma lipids and
relative weight"
Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 1982, vol.68, no.6, pp.915--918
Of a group of 5565 people in a cardiovascular screening program,
131 had cancer, and were matched individually to non-cancer
people. The cancer patients had lower mean weight.


A3) Conception and Pregnancy in Fat Women

[GSK] T.Gross, R.J.Sokol & K.C.King:
"Obesity in pregnancy: risks and outcome"
Obstetrics and Gynecology, October 1980, vol. 56, no. 4, pp. 446--450
This studied 2746 consecutive deliveries, 279 of whom were
obese. Those in the obese group were at increased risk
before birth (increased frequencies of chronic hypertension,
inadequate pregnancy weight gain, twin gestation and
diabetes mellitus). They also had slightly longer gestations.
Infant outcome was similar for obese and non-obese mothers
(similar Apgar scores and perinatal infant mortality).

[IM+] Isaacs et al.:
"Obstetric challenges of massive obesity complicating pregnancy"
Journal of Perinatology, Jan-Feb 1994, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 10--14

[LT+] Le Thai et al.:
"Grossesse et obesite. A propos d'une etude cas-temoins de 140 cas
(Pregnancy and obesity. A case control study of 140 cases)"
Journal de Gynecologie, Obstetrique et Reproduction Biologique 1992,
vol. 21, no. 5, pp. 563--567

[SVS] Gary M. Shaw, Ellen M. Velie, Donna Schaffer:
"Risk of Neural Tube Defect-Affected Pregnancies Among Obese Women"
Journal of the American Medical Association 1996, vol.275, pp. 1093--1096

[WLSM] Martha M. Werler, Carol Louik, Samuel Shapiro, Allen A. Mitchell:
"Prepregnant Weight in Relation to Risk of Neural Tube Defects"
Journal of the American Medical Association 1996, vol.275, pp. 1089--1092

[Zaa+] B.M.Zaadstra et al.
"Fat and female fecundity: prospective study of effect of body
fat distribution on conception rates",
British Medical Journal, February 1993, vol. 306, no. 6876, pp. 484--7
542 women were studied at a fertility clinic in the
Netherlands. They found that a larger waist-hip ratio led to
a decrease in fertility.
Also they found that underweight women were slightly slower
to conceive than average weight women. Obese women were as
fast to conceive as average weight women, but the conception
rate was noticeably reduced for very obese women (BMI > 38),
lower than the underweight group.
They concluded than body fat distribution had more impact on
fertility than age or obesity.


A4) Causes of Obesity

[BYD] G.A.Bray, B.York, J.Delany
"A survey of the opinions of obesity experts on the causes and treatment
of obesity"
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 1992, vol 55 (Supp 1),
pp. 151S--154S
They surveyed opinions of 50 obesity researchers, from Europe
and North America. Overall, genetic factors were considered to
be the most important cause of obesity.
The women tended to view lack of physical activity, carbohyrate
cravings and weight cycling as more significant than the men
did. Opinions as to treatments varied. Women preferred exercise
more highly; older researchers preferred low fat diets more
highly. All thought that serotonergic and thermogenic drugs were
effective, and that their usefulness would increase over the next

[Borj] M.Borjeson:
"The etiology of obesity in children"
Acta Pediatrica Scandinavia, 1976, vol. 65, 279--287

[Pri+] R.A.Price, R.J.Cadoret, A.J.Stunkard, E.Troughton:
"Genetic contributions to human fatness: An adoption study"
American Journal of Psychiatry, 1987, vol. 144, pp. 1003--1008

[St+1] A.J.Stunkard et al.:
"An Adoption Study of Human Obesity",
New England Journal of Medicine, 1986, vol. 314, pp. 193--198

[St+2] A.J.Stunkard et al.,:
"A Twin study of Human Obesity",
Journal of the American Medical Association, July 1986, vol. 256, pp. 51--54

[SHPM] A.J.Stunkard & J.R.Harris & N.L.Pederson & G.E.McClearn:
"The body-mass index of twins who have been reared apart",
New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 322, 1483--1487
They point out that it is known there is a genetic contribution
(studies of twins and adoptees/biological parents show
correlations, but not adoptees/adopting parents) but the
question is how much. They studied 93 identical twins
raised apart, 154 identical twins raised together, 218
fraternal twins raised apart and 208 fraternal twins raised
together (Swedish twins), and for the identical twins
raised apart, the intra-pair correlation coefficient was
0.70 for men, 0.66 for women. They conclude the genetic
contribution is substantial.


A5) Life Expectancy of Fat People

[Bla+] Blair, Kohl, Paffenbarger, Clark, Cooper & Gibbons:
"Physical Fitness and All-Cause Mortality. A Prospective Study of
Healthy Men and Women"
Journal of the American Medical Association, 1989, vol. 262, pp. 2395--2401
10224 men and 3120 women were studied. Fitness was measured
by a treadmill, and average follow-up was 8 years per person.
The study looks as various factors such as cholesterol,
systolic blood pressure, BMI. Results show that low fitness
is a big risk factor for men and women. Tables looking at
BMI, fitness and mortality rates show for both men and women
the highest risk amonst thin unfit people. Those with BMI below
20 had a higher mortality risk, where as BMI 20-25 had a similar
risk to those with BMI > 25. Fitness consistently reduced
mortality risk regardless of age or gender or BMI.

[DBSJ] E.J.Drenick, G.S.Bale, F.Seltzer and D.G.Johnson:
"Excessive Mortality and Causes of Death in Morbidly Obese Men"
Journal of the American Medical Association, 1980, vol. 243, pp. 443--445
See the review in section A8.

[GHPP] S.M.Garn, V.M.Hawthorne, J.J.Pilkington and S.D.Pesick
"Fatness and mortality in the West of Scotland"
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, August 1983 vol.38, no.2, pp. 313--319
The researchers studied mortality data over 16 years, for men aged
45 to 75, from the West of Scotland. The lean had a higher mortality
rate than the obese. Obese men tended to show more deaths due to
heart problems, and lean men tended to show more deaths due to
cancer. The adverse effects of smoking were also clearly seen here.

[Keys] A.Keys:
"Overweight, obesity, coronary heart disease, and mortality: the
W.O. Atwater Memorial Lecture"
Progress in Clinical Biology Research, 1981, vol. 67, pp. 31--46

[LP] I.Lee and R.S.Paffenberger:
"Change in Body Weight and Longevity"
Journal of the American Medical Association, 1992, vol. 268, pp.2045--2049

[Man+] J.E.Manson, W.C.Willet, M.J.Stampfer, G.A.Colditz, D.J.Hunter,
S.E.Hawlinson, C.H.Hennekens, F.E.Speizer:
"Body Weight and Mortality Among Women"
New England Journal of Medicine, 1995, September 14th
They studied 115,195 women nurses, aged 30-55 years, from 1976 to
1992, all of whom were free of cardiovascular disease and cancer
in 1976. A J-shaped curve of relative risk vs. BMI was obtained,
which was more /-shaped if smokers were factored out.
Figures for fat people consistent with other research, also with
J-shaped curves.
Sample result: Age-adjusted relative risk (AARR) for BMI below 19.0
was 1.0, compared to AARR for BMI 25.9 was 0.7, compared to AARR for
BMI 35.8 was 1.3. When smokers were factored out the AARRs were
1.0 for BMI below 19.0, 1.1 for BMI 25.9 and 1.9 for BMI 35.8.
The actual order of magnitude of the risks were in the range
1 to 4 per 1000 (per person-year).

[Sor+] P.Sorlie, T.Gordon & W.B.Kannel:
"Body build and mortality: The Framingham study"
Journal of the American Medical Association, 1980, vol. 243, pp. 1828--1831

[Wil+] T.Wilcosky, J.Hyde, J.J.B.Anderson, S.Bangdiwala and B.Duncan:
"Obesity and mortality in the lipid research clinics program follow-up study"
Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 1990, vol.43, pp. 743--752


A6) Fatness and Fitness

[Bjo+] P. Bjorntorp et al.:
"Physical training in human obesity. 3. Effects of long-term
physical training on body composition"
Metabolism, 1973, vol. 22, no. 12, pp. 1467--1475

[Bla+] Blair, Kohl, Paffenbarger, Clark, Cooper & Gibbons:
"Physical Fitness and All-Cause Mortality. A Prospective Study of
Healthy Men and Women"
Journal of the American Medical Association, 1989, vol. 262, pp. 2395--2401

[KDSA] T.A.Kaplan, S.L.Digel, V.A.Scavo, S.B.Arellana:
"Effect of obesity on injury risk in high school football players"
Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine 1995, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 43--47
98 high school football players were studied. The fat players
showed a similar risk of injury to the thin players, but the
heavy players (over 90 kg) showed a 2.5 greater risk of injury
than the light players.

[KB] M. Krotkiewski & P. Bjorntorp:
"Muscle Tissue in Obesity with Different Distribution of
Adipose Tissue. Effects of physical Training"
International Journal of Obesity, 1986, vol.10, pp. 331--341

[Kro+] M.Krotkiewski et al:
"Effects of long-term physical training on bodyfat, metabolism,
and blood pressure in Obesity"
Metabolism, 1979, vol. 28, p650
They physically trained 27 women with varying degrees of
obesity for 6 months on an ad lib diet. They found that
obese women with fewer fat cells lost weight, whereas
women with severe obesity and more fat cells even gained
weight. Blood pressure consistently decreased.

[KBVA] N. L. Keim et al.:
"Energy expenditure and physical performance in overweight women:
response to training with and without caloric restriction"
Metabolism, June 1990, vl. 39, no. 6, pp. 651--658
Notes various statistics for 10 women (big study data, eh?)
of above average size but not huge, on a 14 week study. Half
took exercise only, half took exercise and diet restriction.
The study notes various body composition and VO2 statistics,
and concludes that the diet+exercise combination resulted in
more fat-loss.

[Ok] K. Okada:
"Effects of long-term corporate fitness program on employees' health"
Journal of Nutr. Sci. Vitaminol Tokyo, December 1991, Suppl. 37, S131-8
The purpose of this study was to assess the affects of
a long-term corporate fitness program. 1499 male employees
had medical checkups, physical fitness tests and physical
training. Results included that the proportion of obese
workers showed no change; physical fitness was noticeably
improved; there was a decrease in the percentage of smokers;
there were no significant changes in total cholesterol levels
nor in incidences of hypertriglyceridemia or

[SS] K. R. Segal & F. X. Pi Sunyer
"Exercise and Obesity"
Med. Clin. North American. January 1989, vol. 73, no. 1, pp. 217--236
They suggest it is unlikely that resting metabolism is
altered by exercise, either long-term or acutely (and go
on to suggest a combination of caloric restriction and
physical training for fat loss).


A7) Social Aspects of Fatness

[Cra1] C.S.Crandall:
"Do heavyweight students have more difficulty paying for college?",
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 1991, vol. 17, pp. 606--611
Hint: The answer is yes.

[Cra2] C.S.Crandall:
"Prejudice against fat people: Ideology and self-interest"
Personality and Social Psychology, 1994, vol.66, pp. 882--894
Anti-fat prejudice is closely linked to various beliefs about
the world--that things are controllable, conservative politics,
belief in a just world, protestant ethic, and other traditional

[Cra3] C.S.Crandall:
"Do parents discriminate against their own heavyweight daughters?",
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 1995, vol. 21, pp. 724--735
Surprisingly, yes. Furthermore, parents who endorse traditional
conservative values appear to be more likely to discriminate against
their own daughters.

[C+M] C.S.Crandall, R.Martinez:
"Culture, ideology, and anti-fat attitudes"
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 1996, vol. 22, pp. 1165--1176
Mexico is less anti-fat than the USA, and women there are less
concerned about their own weight than women in the USA. In addition,
anti-fat prejudice is not linked to social ideology and conservative
values in Mexico as it is in the USA.

[Gor+] Gortmaker, Aviva, Perrin, Sobol, Dietz:
"Social and Economic consequences of Overweight in
Adolescence and Young Adulthood",
New England Journal of Medicine, 1993, pp. 1008--1012

[JP] Craig R. Janes & Ivan G. Pawson:
"Migration and biocultural adaptaion: Samoans in California"
Social Science & Medicine, 1986, vol. 22, no. 8, pp. 821--834

[FB] M.A.Freidman and K.D.Bromwell:
"Psychological Correlates of Obesity: Moving to the Next Research Generation"
Psychological Bulletin, vol. 117, pp. 3--20

[Go+] S.L.Gortmaker et al.:
New England Journal of Medicine, 1983, vol. 329, pp. 1008--1012

[Ros] James Rosen et al.:
"Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Negative Body Image in Obese Women"
Behaviour Therapy, Jan-Feb-Mar 1995

[Roth] E. Rothblum:
"I'll die for the revolution but don't ask me not to
diet: feminism and the continuing stigmatization of obesity"
Feminist Perspectives on Eating Disorders, Guildford Press,
1994, pp. 53--76

[SK] S. M. Shaw and L. Kemeny:
"Fitness promotion for adolescent girls: the impact and effectivenes
of promotional material which emphasizes the slim ideal"
Adolescence, Fall 1989, vol. 24, no. 95, pp. 677--687
This studied techniques for promoting fitness participation
amongst teenage girls. Posters used different models
(slim,average,large) and different messages (slim,active,health)
and the slim model was the most effective poster, whereas the
slim message was the least effective message. The data
indicates that promoting fitness through messages relating
slimness to fitness isn't effective, and they point out that
using very slim models may not be desirable because it
reinforces the slim stereotype.

[SS] Stunkard and Sorensen:
"Obesity and Socioeconomic Status--A Complex Relation"
Editorial in New England Journal of Medicine, 1993, vol. 324, pp. 1036--1037

[WW1] Susan C. Wooley & Orland W. Wooley:
"Obesity and Women I: A Closer Look at the Facts",
Women's Studies International Quarterly, 1979

[WW2] Susan C. Wooley & Orland W. Wooley:
"Obesity and Women II: A Neglected Feminist Topic",
Women's Studies International Quarterly, 1978

[WWD] Susan C. Wooley, Orland W. Wooley, and Susan R. Dyrenforth:
"Theoretical, Practical, and Social Issues in Behavioral Treatments of
Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis, 1979, vol. 12, pp. 3--25


A8) Weight Change in Fat People

[AK] Ashley & Kannel:
"Relation of weight change to changes in
atherogenic traits: The Framingham Study"
Journal of Chronic Diseases, 1974, vol. 27, pp. 103--114

[DBSJ] E.J.Drenick, G.S.Bale, F.Seltzer and D.G.Johnson:
"Excessive Mortality and Causes of Death in Morbidly Obese Men"
Journal of the American Medical Association, 1980, vol. 243, pp. 443--445
Results from a study of 200 obese men who checked into
a diet clinic and followed the program for two years.
Most regained the weight, there was a twelve-fold increase
in deaths compared to average men in the 25-34 age group,
and a six-fold corresponding increase in the 35-44 group.
More deaths were due to cardiovascular disease, and less
due to malignancies. They admit the study is statistically
not significant, but think the results interesting.
I quote: "It appears that no unusual factors other than
obesity could have caused such extraordinary mortality",
when it is obvious that the men also had the two-year
diet in common. No details were given about the diet.
Dr.Drenick and Ms.Johnson were from the Veterans Administration,
Dr. Bale and Mr. Seltzer from the Metropolitan Life Insurance

[EK] Ernsberger & Koletsky:
"Weight Cycling and Mortality: Support from Animal Studies"
Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 269, pp. 1116--1993
In this short letter to the JAMA, they point out that [LP]
shows that weight fluctuations increase mortality by
over 50%, which overshadows the 18% rise in mortality
associated with the 20% fattest people. They also quote
results from animal research which supports their view that
there's a growing hypothesis that weight loss and regain is

[GMS] C.A.Geissler, D.S.Miller, M.Shah:
"The daily metabolic rate of the post-obese and the lean"
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,
May 1987, vol. 54, no. 5, pp. 914--920
The study took 16 post-obese women and matched them for
age, weight, height and other factors with 16 naturally
lean women. The post-obese women had metabolic rates
approximately 15% lower than the naturally lean women,
and also ate less.

[Ha+] P.Hamm, R.B.Shekelle & J.Stamler:
"Large fluctuations in body weight during young adulthood and
twenty-five year risk of coronary death in men."
American Journal of Epidemiology, 1989, vol. 129, 312--318

[Hay] R.B.Haynes:
"Is weight-loss an effective treatment for hypertension?
The evidence against"
Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 1986, vol. 64, pp. 825--830

[HH] John A. Hibscher & C. Peter Herman:
"Obesity, Dieting, and the Expression of 'Obese' Characteristics"
Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 1977, vol. 91,
no. 2, pp. 374--380

[LP] I.Lee and R.S.Paffenberger:
"Change in Body Weight and Longevity"
Journal of the American Medical Association, 1992, vol. 268, pp.2045--2049

[MP] D.S.Miller and S.Parsonage:
"Resistance to Slimming: Adaption or Illusion"
The Lancet, 1975, i, pp.773--775
They studied a group of 29 large women from slimming clubs, the
women having had great difficulty in losing weight. They
kept them reasonably active in a country house with
activity and food intake closely monitored. 20 lost weight,
but 9 were able to maintain weight.

[NE] D.O.Nelson and P.Ernsberger:
"Feed-starve cycling in dietary obesity induces moderate hypertension via
alternations in the autonomic regulation of cardiovascular function"
Society of Neuro-sciences Abstracts, 1984, vol. 10, p. 716

[NIH] NIH Office of Medical Applications of Research:
"Methods for Voluntary Weight Loss and Control"
Technology Assessment Conference Statement, March 30 - April 1, 1992"

[Nis] Richard E. Nisbett:
"Starvation and the Behavior of the Obese"
Obesity and Bariatric Medicine, 1972, vol.1, pp. 28--32

[Sims] E.A.H.Sims:
"Experimental obesity, diet-induced thermogenesis and
their clinical implications"
Clinics in Endocrinology and Metabolism, 1976, vol. 5, pp. 377--395

[Si+1] Sims, Goldman, Gluck, Horton, Kelleher & Rowe:
"Experimental obesity in man",
Transactions of the Association of American Physicians, 1968, vol. 81,
pp. 153--170
Average-weight male prisoners volunteered to gain between
20%-25% of their body weight. They all found it difficult to
gain the weight, although all but a few managed to reach the
target. The typical prisoner was needing to eat 7000 calories
per day to gain the weight, although the top end of the
range was 10000 calories to sustain weight. They lost the weight
relatively easily, returning to (typically) 2 or 3 kg above
previous weight.

[SMG] M. Shah, D. S. Miller, C. A. Geissler:
"Lower Metabolic rates of post-obese versus lean women: thermogenesis,
basal metabolic rate and genetics"
Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1975, vol. 84, pp. 666--672
16 post-obese women were selected, and then matched with naturally
thin women of the same age weight and height. The mean metabolic
rate of the post-obese was 15% lower than that of the naturally
thin women.


A9) Eating Disorders and Obesity

[HP] C. Peter Herman & Janet Polivy:
"Anxiety, Restraint and Eating Behavior"
Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1975, vol. 84, pp. 666--672

[NRC] National Research Council:
"Obesity and Eating Disorders"
in Diet and Health: Implications for reducing chronic disease risk,
Washington DC: National Academy Press, 1989, pp. 563--592


SECTION B: Information about this FAQ

B1) Are there other related FAQs?

Yes. The list of them below can be found from the following page:

information about clothing for large people in Canada
information about clothing for large people in Europe
(excluding the United Kingdom)
information about clothing for large people in the UK
information about clothing for large people in the U.S.
information about health issues affecting large people
information about research concerning large people
information about large-size maternity resources
information about resources for sports and activities
for large people
information about resources for fitness for large people
information about organizations for large people
information about resources for large people (that aren't
covered in the other resources FAQs)
information about resources for dealing with the physical
aspects of being large
information about publications for large people
information about size-acceptance
general information file for

There is some overlap in the topics covered by the FAQs. If you don't
find what you're looking for here, try the other FAQs.


B2) Posting information

This document is posted monthly to news.answers and alt.answers and
posted bi-weekly to and
Sharon Curtis ( maintains this FAQ.


B3) Availability of the FAQ

All FAQs posted to news.answers are archived at and its
mirror sites. You can get any of these FAQs from via
anonymous FTP or via the mail archive server. (To get information
about the mail server, send email to with the
body of the message containing the word "help", without the quotes.)

FAQs posted to news.answers are also available on the Web from:

You can find this FAQ at the following URL:

although the latest version specifically adapted for HTML and maintained
by the maintainer can be found at


B4) Contributors

These are the people who contribute significant chunks to the FAQ.

Sharon Curtis (

Also, lots and lots of other people (too many to credit) contributed
information that appears herein, some via email and some on s.s.f-a or
a.s.b-f. Thanks to them all.

Suggestions for additions/improvements are always welcome.

Copyright 1995 by Sharon Curtis (
Permission is granted to copy and redistribute this article in its
entirety for non-commercial use provided that this copyright notice is
not removed or altered. No portion of this work may be sold, either
by itself or as part of a larger work, without the express written
permission of the author; this restriction covers all publication
media, including (but not limited to) CD-ROM.

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