People can be obese yet physically fit! Yes, that’s true! According to a study published in the European Heart Journal, researchers say it is possible to be both obese and healthy.
One of the leading causes of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular problems and cancer, obesity can also protect some individuals from obesity-related metabolic complications. [Read: Risks and Complications of Obesity]
Researchers studied the data of 43,265 individuals in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study conducted from 1979 and 2003. Fat percentage of the participants was measured by hydrostatic weighing (submersion in water) or skinfold technique along with fitness level test on a treadmill. The criteria labeled 29.7% of participants as obese out of which half were considered ‘metabolically healthy’.
Metabolic health depends on various factors, most importantly high blood pressure, high triglycerides, cholesterol, low HDL and high fasting glucose levels. The participants with no or only one of these symptoms were considered metabolically healthy. The condition of the participants, who were obese but metabolically healthy, was termed as ‘uncomplicated obesity’ or ‘metabolically benign obesity’.
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