September 7, 2012
NOT ALL OBESITY IS CREATED EQUAL: ‘Fitness and fatness’: Not all obese people have the same prognosis.
People can be obese but metabolically healthy and fit, with no greater risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer than normal weight people, according to the largest study ever to have investigated this, which is published online today in the European Heart Journal. The findings show there is a subset of obese people who are metabolically healthy – they don’t suffer from conditions such as insulin resistance, diabetes and high cholesterol or blood pressure – and who have a higher level of fitness, as measured by how well the heart and lungs perform, than other obese people. Being obese does not seem to have a detrimental effect on their health, and doctors should bear this in mind when considering what, if any, interventions are required, say the researchers.
Of course, most people’s concern with obesity stems from not wanting to look at fat people, with health merely serving as an excuse for regarding the unaesthetic as somehow immoral.