This article by Paul Raeburn in the September issue of Scientific American, starts out well but quickly goes belly-up. So to speak. Raeburn's burning question--"Can fat be fit?"--is presented as genuine, but it's clear from the second graf that he's got an agenda rather than a genuine curiosity about the question.
He pays lip service to Katherine Flegal's research showing that being overweight (BMI between 25 and 30) may actually lower your risk of mortality. Flegal's drawn a lotta flak since her study came out, of course, and no doubt there's more to understand. But Raeburn doesn't try too hard. He sets Flegal up as a straw man and knocks her down fast with other research that seems less than compelling. He quotes Walter Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health, and writes, "Willett’s research has identified profound advantages to keeping weight down—even below the so-called healthy levels."
Here we have it once more, ladies and gentlemen, the mantra of so much that's being written these days about fat and thin. Flegal's research doesn't count because, as we all know, the lower your weight the better.
I can hear Willett saying, "Fat is too bad for you! [foot stomp] Why? Because I said so!"
I don't know Paul Raeburn's writing, but I do expect better than this paltry effort from Scientific American.