• Germany's news in English

Getting fat under stress 'the healthy option'

The Local · 27 Feb 2013, 13:06

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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."

Story continues below…

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

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd