Many of us will admit to struggling a little with our weight, and having perhaps too much love for the naughtier things in our diet – but a new study has cut out at least one excuse we turn to again and again!
According to new research, the idea that someone can be ‘fat but fit’ – carrying extra weight but with normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels (i.e. being ‘metabolically healthy) – is a total myth.
Basically, there is no such thing as being ‘healthily obese’, according to a new study carried out by a team of scientists at the University of Birmingham.
As part of the research, the team analysed medical records from a staggering 3.5 million people in Britain, between 1995 and 2015. They then compared the health status of those who were obese but metabolically healthy, with healthy people who weren’t carrying extra weight.
The results were fascinating. The team found that those who were obese but metabolically healthy faced almost double the risk (96 per cent) of suffering from heart failure. Furthermore, they also had a 49 per cent greater risk of contracting coronary heart disease, and were seven per cent more likely to suffer a stroke.
The overall results were the same for this group, even when the researchers took smoking habits into account.
Commenting on the study findings, lead author Dr Rishi Caleyachetty confirmed that “the idea of being healthily obese is a myth”. He added that, from now on, experts should avoid using the term ‘metabolically healthy’.
Fellow medical expert Dr Mike Knapton emphasised the significance of the study findings: “It’s not often that research on this scale and magnitude is able to clarify an age-old myth.
“These findings should be taken extremely seriously, and I’d urge healthcare professionals to take heed.”
The study coincides with the release of another piece of research, carried out by the World Health Organisation, on teenage obesity.
This particular study revealed that almost a staggering four in every five teenagers who are obese now are statistically more likely to struggle with their weight later in their life, too.