BMI is a crude measure for evaluating the health of individuals. Some researchers contend that what
really matters is the distribution of fat tissue on the body, with excess abdominal fat being most
dangerous; others say that cardiovascular fitness predicts mortality regardless of BMI or abdominal fat.
“BMI is just a first step for anybody,” says Steven Stone, an obesity researcher. “If you can then add
waist circumference and blood tests and other risk factors, then you can get a more complete description
at the individual level.”
If the obesity-paradox studies are correct, the issue then becomes how to convey their nuances. A
lot of excess weight, in the form of obesity, is clearly bad for health, and most young people are better off
keeping trim. But that may change as they age and develop illnesses.
Some public-health experts fear, however, that people could take that message as a general
endorsement of weight gain. Willett says that he is also concerned that obesity-paradox studies could
undermine people’s trust in science. “You hear it so often, people say: ‘I read something one month and
then a couple of months later I hear the opposite. Scientists just can’t get it right.’” he says. “We see
that time and time again being exploited, by the soda industry, in the case of obesity, or by the oil
industry, in the case of global warming.”
Preventing weight gain in the first place should be the primary public-health goal, Willett says. “It’s
very challenging to lose weight once you’re obese. That’s the most serious consequence of saying
there’s no problem with being overweight. We want to have people motivated not to get there in the
【題組】38. The primary purpose of the passage with reference to the obesity under discussion is to .
(A) explain why researchers have different views
(B) present the discrepancy between researchers
(C) criticize the conflicting reports and the confusion caused by them
(D) normalize people’s fear of obesity