New Study Finds It's Impossible to Be Overweight and Healthy


The term metabolically healthy obesity is simply another way of saying ‘fat but fit’.

Even if you are carrying a bit of extra weight but exercise regularly and are considered to be metabolically healthy, it doesn't always mean that you are. It could come as a shock to learn that you are still at a higher risk of having a stroke or developing heart disease.

The term metabolically healthy obesity is simply another way of saying ‘fat but fit’. It refers to people who are considered to be clinically obese with a BMI of 30 or more. Who does not have any of the complications normally associated with being overweight such as diabetes, poor blood sugar control, or high blood pressure.

However, a recent study of 3.5 million people in the UK that was carried out over a 20-year period found strange results. It found that even people who are metabolically healthy were still more at risk of heart disease or a stroke. To come to this conclusion, researchers analyzed health records of 3.5 million people in the UK between 1995 and 2015. All of these people did not initially have any signs of cardiovascular disease.

Participants were grouped according to their body mass index or BMI and whether they had abnormal blood fats, high blood pressure or diabetes. In order for the term metabolically healthy obesity to apply to them, participants were classified as having none of these abnormalities when compared to normal weight people. People who are overweight have a 50% chance of coronary heart disease and are 7% more at risk of a stroke.

The risk of heart failure has doubled.

Overall, metabolically healthy obese people had a lower risk of developing a peripheral vascular disease. Yet, this risk was still 11% higher compared to people who were not overweight.

With approximately one-third of the world’s population now considered to be overweight or obese, this study is a bit of a wake-up call. Especially for anyone who considered themselves to be generally quite fit even if they could do with losing some weight.

If you think you fall into this category, it could be worth taking preventative action. Go visit your doctor or cardiologist to find out how you can manage this risk and how to safely reduce your weight. Your physician can assess your risk of developing heart disease or your risk of a stroke and can take the most appropriate action.

Even though deaths caused by cardiovascular disease have decreased over the past few decades, stroke and heart attacks still remain the top two killers in the United States.

But taking preventative action, it could reduce your risk and may potentially save your life in the future.

Getting or Staying Physically Active

Physical activity is important for heart health. If you already exercise regularly it’s probably worth discussing your exercise regime with your physician to see if it could do with any improvement.

If you don’t already exercise regularly, your physician can advise you on beginning a regular regime of moderate exercise. Regular exercise can be a great way to help keep your weight in check and your heart healthy.

Especially if you need to go on a diet as it will give you a few extra calories to play with while making sure you still remain in a calorie deficit. If you haven’t exercised for quite some time then it’s important to start off slowly. Overdoing it could result in an injury that may reduce your physical activity for months to come. Again, this is something your physician can advise you about. They may also be able to recommend a nearby gym or personal trainer who can help you exercise safely.

Losing Weight

Anybody who has ever tried to a diet will know it’s not exactly easy, especially as you get older. However, when you consider the possible complications then making sure you get your BMI levels down to a normal range suddenly begins to seem a lot more attractive.

There are lots of diet tools online. It can help you track your calories and give lots of advice on losing weight slowly and safely with a diet that will be sustainable in the longer term.

Proper nutrition is also essential as eating the right foods will help protect you from cardiovascular disease. Ask your doctor for advice or ask if they can refer you to a nutritionist who will help you devise a diet plan. It can that includes foods you like and which will be easier to stick to.