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Obese But Healthy?

Being obese does not mean you are unhealthyBeing obese doesn’t automatically mean you’re destined for cardiovascular disease - although it certainly increases the odds. New research from the UK shows that the risk of developing heart problems depends on metabolic health, and not body size. Metabolic health means having normal levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation. Investigators followed 22,000 middle-aged men and women enrolled in health studies in England and Scotland. After seven years they looked at the number of deaths in the group and what caused them. They discovered more than 600 had died from heart-related disorders and 1,800 from other causes. They found that obese but metabolically healthy participants were at no greater risk of death from cardiovascular disease than the metabolically healthy non-obese. But those in poor metabolic health - whether obese or not - had a 64 and 59 percent increased risk of dying from heart disease (respectively) than healthy non-obese. The metabolically unhealthy obese had a 72 percent higher risk of dying from causes other than heart disease compared to the metabolically healthy. Here’s the bad news if you're overweight: only slightly less than one quarter of the obese participants were metabolically healthy. The study was published in the April 16, 2012 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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    Response: Healthy Fat
    While visiting my mom in Nebraska recently, we were discussing how exercise might help with blood circulation and improve the edema that gives her fits. I asked her why she doesn't like to go for walks around her neighborhood. What she said stunned me at first, and then I just felt ...

Reader Comments (1)

I've said this for years. While we are a minority, there are heavy people in perfect health, and who do workout daily, as I do. I have been physically very active for 11 years (I was a runner in my youth as well) and while I did lose a lot of weight, I am still very heavy and actually gained some weight back due to menopause 2 years ago (even though I never stopped eating moderately, and working out.) I work out more than most thinner people I know, so while my heart is conditioned, the rest of me is still big! Yet my test numbers are perfect, according to my doctor. Most of my family members were over 200 lbs, yet not one died from weight-related illnesses, or even HAD weight-related illnesses. Except for my father (who died at 77) they all died in their 80s. Ironically, my very thin older sister (size 3) will probably die the youngest, since she is a chain smoker and has been since her teen years.

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnnette

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