Female Anchor: Earlier this year, a CDC study suggested that the people who were a little bit overweight might be healthier than normal weight individuals. That would be great if it was true. But many experts said no such luck. Dr. Jonathan Waitman is a clinical nutrition specialist with Weill-Cornell Medical Center's Comprehensive Weight Control Program, well, that's a malform(malformation) , huh, huh, huh……Dr. Waitman, good morning.
Dr. Jonathan Waitman: Hi.
Female Anchor: What was your reaction when you first heard that?
Dr. Jonathan Waitman:Well, my reaction was what would happen if the study came out that says smoking half a pack of the cigarettes was actually good for you. That would be a wrong message to send, and it would contradict all the other data that we have. So you have to look very closely at that study that came out, and when you look at it, you'll find that it's very flawed.
Female Anchor: Because we know that increased weight carries with that a host of problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, certain types of cancer, heart disease, (right)and with women in particular, there're some some very, ur, ur, specific concerns, breast cancer.
Dr. Jonathan Waitman: Right! And endometrial cancer. Both occurred at higher rates in people who have excess weight.
Female Anchor: So you start, let's start this by giving a very rough outline of what a woman should weigh. And you say for every, for five feet you give them 100 pounds, and every inch after that, you get another five pounds.
Dr. Jonathan Waitman: Right! And this is for ideal body weight, and what people have to remember is that this doesn't take into account muscle, and it doesn't differentiate muscle from fat tissue.
Female Anchor: Because muscle weighs more than fat?
Dr. Jonathan Waitman: Right! So anyone who has, let's say 160 pounds, and they're five feet five or something like that. If they're extremely muscular, that might be a healthy weight for them, but if they have a lot of fat tissue, they do need to look into weight loss.
Female Anchor: One of the things I have heard a lot is something called body mass index, (ur, huh) what is that?
Dr. Jonathan Waitman: Body mass index is also a function of your height and your weight, and it doesn't take into account different body types also.
Female Anchor: And one of the things that people assume is that if you're overweight, that's just unsightly, and that really isn't, that's not all... , that is metabolically active. What do you mean by that?
Dr. Jonathan Waitman: I try when I talk to people about their weight, I try to concentrate on getting them to a healthier weight, it's not getting them back into their tuxedo they wore when they were in high school, or their wedding gown, but getting to a healthier weight and reducing their risks for diabetes, and cancer, and heart disease,really the biggest killers in our society.
Female Anchor: And sometimes that can be just, just a way loss of maybe ten or fifteen pounds.
Dr. Jonathan Waitman: Right! And people forget that, and they concentrate on getting to their goal weight, or their ideal body weight. But what's more important is losing five to ten percent of your body weight, someone who loses 7% of the body weight can reduce the risk of diabetes by almost 60%.
Female Anchor: Ok, I wanna go back to this metabolically active, because in particular, with particular concentration on women, fat produces estrogen, right?
Dr. Jonathan Waitman: Right!
Female Anchor: And so what happens with estrogen?
Dr. Jonathan Waitman: Well, we think that's why people who are, women who are overweight have increased risk for breast cancer.
Female Anchor: So, and so this fat isn't just sitting around you, it's kind of like an organ.
Dr. Jonathan Waitman: It's actually, it's an endocrine organ, producing hormones, and promoting inflammation also that we think contributes to the metabolic syndrome, diabetes and heart disease.
Female Anchor: For women who are approaching menopause, so, is that a more difficult task to get that weight off, and because you're getting closer to menopause is more important than to get it off, because it might have come off after the menopause.
Dr. Jonathan Waitman: It's absolutely important at any point of time to try to get the weight off, and it is more difficult as women approach menopause, so if you start earlier and get the weight off earlier, you're gonna have less work later on.
Female Anchor: Why is that?
Dr. Jonathan Waitman: Well, we think it's because metabolism slows down, and their hormone are on changes, / obviously it takes place from a menopause.