• Germany's news in English
 

Getting fat under stress 'the healthy option'

Published: 27 Feb 2013 13:06 GMT+01:00

Professor Achim Peters from Lübeck University in Schleswig-Holstein, has just published a book in German called Overweight Myths - Why Fat People Live Longer.

He told Die Welt newspaper that he and his team had observed that "people react to a stressful, uncertain circumstances in two different ways. Some eat and become fat. The others refuse food and become thin. The ones who become really ill are the thin ones. The fat ones are in comparison with the thin ones, much healthier."

Being thin was in itself not a problem, he said, but those who lose weight when under stress were in danger.

"Those who have no stress and are thin - they do the best," he told the paper on Wednesday.

"But when under stress one becomes either fat or sick. We have to worry much more about the thin stressed people than about the fat stressed people. Yet they are not regarded widely as having a problem - as they are thin. But in fact they die earliest."

He told the paper he and his team had looked at what they called toxic stress - environmental problems which a person cannot change, such as poverty, bullying and abuse.

People who put on weight when under this toxic stress have the nutrients to supply their brain. "When it does not get them from external sources, it gets them from inside, from muscles and even worse, from the organs. Thin stressed people are the least healthy people."

He also seemed to suggest that being overweight was generally a reaction to stress. "If you look carefully there were or are stressful circumstances for fat people who do not seem stressed. But these people have found a solution. They have become stress tolerant and in return, get a balanced mood. But they have to pay a price for this - eating."

There were anti-stress therapies which he said were effective in the longer term and could alter eating behaviour and lead to weight loss. But he added that there was no ideal weight - rather, he told the paper, "each person has an ideal survival strategy for their period of life, and the associated weight."

He said society's animosity to fat people puts them under psychological and real pressure. "There are studies which show that fat people earn less, are more likely to be fired and are more often bullied. The beauty ideal of being slim contributes much to the unhappiness of fat people."

"Society needs to change, not fat people," he said.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

15:57 February 27, 2013 by marimay
Whatever makes you feel better, fatty!
16:56 February 27, 2013 by Bulldawg82
Being overweight may be good for the brain during high stress, but it is equally bad for the heart under those same conditions. You just can't win . . .
19:13 February 27, 2013 by zeddriver
After considerable research. It has been determined that after having been born. You will at some point die. You MIGHT influence the length of it by just a few years +/-. So enjoy yourself in moderation.
23:59 February 27, 2013 by grazhdanin
I don't think fat people live longer.
03:38 February 28, 2013 by schneebeck
Maybe it's good for stress.

But excess blubber usually works against the knees, back, heart, endurance, appearance, self-esteem, and doctor's bills. Costs more to eat too.

Of course, if you need to shed 200 lbs, you obviously couldn't even shed 50 lbs so forget about getting rid of 200.

Hence the need for the fantasy, "blubber is good for you".
03:54 February 28, 2013 by CoolBlueIce
So if your friends are offering to set you up on a blind date and describe your potential date as someone who "handles stress very well", you might want to pass on the offer. It's akin to "she drives a really nice car" or "he's a nice guy.'
12:39 February 28, 2013 by frankgrilla
LMAO......so being fat is the new cool? oh well then i guess i will not be cool then...... checkout Americas Slaves http://topafric.com/index.php/en/site-map/413-america-s-slave-narratives.html
13:51 February 28, 2013 by ichbines
Oh yeah, let me get this right. I should increase my risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and dementia so I can survive my next period of stress. And exactly which of us suffers from so little extra fat that our body won't find something to convert to sugar? Certainly no one in the industrialized world. And which of us does not shove something or other in our mouths every half hour whether under stress or not? Please! This sounds like it is coming from the meat, dairy, bakery folks. Not even a good try...
13:38 March 1, 2013 by Jerusalem.crickets
@ Marimay - you are a sizeist douche. Yeah... not all of us are thin, but that word is effing offensive.
20:50 March 1, 2013 by schneebeck
Hurting people's feelings ought to be avoided if it can be.

But this is some new fantasy vocabulary:

"sizeist" - "You terrible evil 'sizeist', I can't help it if I am of a big 'size' ".

"not thin" - "I'm not fat, I'm just 'not thin' ".

No one has criticized people of "size" here, they have criticized people of excessive body fat.

No one is talking about people who are "not thin", which includes people of normal body mass. The article is about people who are excessively fat.

And don't start trying to deceive other people into thinking they are not fat, they are just "not thin". And don't tell other people it is not their fault, it is the "sizeists" fault.

Please do yourself, and society, a big favor. Don't confuse things by using newly created words of self delusion that don't change the reality that excessive body fat is not good for a person at all. It is also not good for society in terms of health care costs.

Now someone is going to call me a "bully" for speaking straightforward, frankly, and constructively.
Today's headlines
Greece crisis
Merkel: 'still no basis' for aid to Greece
Angela Merkel arriving in Brussels on Tuesday. Photo: EbS

Merkel: 'still no basis' for aid to Greece

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel offered no new insights into her thinking as she arrived in Brussels for a meeting of eurozone government heads on Tuesday, saying that it was up to Greece to make a move and show willing. READ  

Mafia suspects arrested at Lake Constance
Lke Constance, a 'stronghold' of the mafia. Photo:DPA

Mafia suspects arrested at Lake Constance

Police arrested eight Italian citizens on Tuesday morning at Lake Constance in Baden-Württemberg on suspicion of involvement in the ’Ndrangheta, Calabria’s feared mafia organisation. READ  

Greece crisis
Voters back Schäuble's hard line on Greece
Wolfgang Schäuble in the Bundestag. Photo: DPA

Voters back Schäuble's hard line on Greece

A poll published on Tuesday shows that at the peak of their tough talk towards Greece, Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble have been earning even greater confidence from German voters. READ  

'Hackers' give orders to German missile battery
Bundeswehr soldiers operating a Patriot missile launcher. Photo: DPA

'Hackers' give orders to German missile battery

German-owned Patriot missiles stationed in Turkey were briefly taken over by hackers, according to media reports on Tuesday. READ  

Workers dismantle Frankfurt Euro sculpture
A worker on a crane removes stars from the Euro sculpture in central Frankfurt. Photo: DPA

Workers dismantle Frankfurt Euro sculpture

As a possible Greek exit from the eurozone looms ever larger, threatening to change the face of the euro forever, the currency's home city of Frankfurt is giving its famous Euro sculpture a much-needed facelift. READ  

Auschwitz trial
Prosecutors seek 3-1/2 year sentence
Oskar Gröning was an SS guard at Auschwitz. Photo: DPA

Prosecutors seek 3-1/2 year sentence

German prosecutors on Tuesday said they were seeking three and a half years' jail time for a former SS officer known as the "Bookkeeper of Auschwitz". READ  

Hot weather to bring tornados and lightning
With this blitz Gerry'll get a taste of his own medicine. Photo: DPA

Hot weather to bring tornados and lightning

After Germans were able to sneak out to restock their wurst and sauerkraut rations during few cool hours on Monday, another heat wave is sweeping across the country on Tuesday, sending people running back to the shade for cover. READ  

July heatwave
Hot dogs lap up liver sausage sundaes
Ice-cream maker Leonardo Caprarese with golden retriever Oscar, enjoying a delicious scoop of Leberwurst ice cream. Photo: DPA

Hot dogs lap up liver sausage sundaes

Hounds languishing in the July heat around Bremen have been treated to a very special snack to cool them down - but it's one that might put humans off their lunch. READ  

Berlin growing twice as fast as expected
Population growth is putting strains on city planning. Photo: DPA

Berlin growing twice as fast as expected

The Berlin senate revealed on Monday that the capital is growing at double the pace that city planners had previously expected. But after decades of stagnation the growth is seen as positive. READ  

Anti-refugee rage grows in Dresden suburbs
Demonstrators outside the Freital refugee home are held back by police on June 26th. Photo: DPA

Anti-refugee rage grows in Dresden suburbs

Freital, the town that became famous last week for irate anti-refugee protestors outside a new home for asylum seekers, saw a fresh confrontation on Monday night as local people gathered for a town hall meeting. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
Gallery
Who's got a shot at the German Film Awards
Rhineland
Anger over 'child-free' beer garden
National
How do you do, Majestät?
National
Man defends right to pee in public with tear gas
Features
The Germans who won Waterloo for the British
Frankfurt
Should Germany ban circus animals?
Hamburg
Where people are having the most sex in Germany
Culture
Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Not this student...
National
Dresden's three-decade-long red light
Politics
Upper house calls for gay marriage now
Berlin
Berlin named 3rd-best city worldwide
Sport
In search of the toughest firefighter
Business & Money
German firms shine for European engineering students
Gallery
Hitler's paintings up for auction
National
German's 70-year search for murdered US pilot
Politics
What the G7 leaders agreed at Elmau
Business & Money
What really makes Germans happy
National
Playmobil builder leaves worldwide legacy
National
The car share that became a drug run
Politics
What Snowden revealed to Germany
Rhineland
Why wolf cubs are being raised by hand
National
Hitler's booze cave found
National
Environment makes Germany worth living in
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,866
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd