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Fat but Fit

September 19, 2012

Many obese people are metabolically fit and are at no greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer than people of normal weight.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Obese but healthy…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Obesity doesn’t automatically mean someone is in poor health. This according to a study of Texans conducted across three decades. University of Granada epidemiologist Francisco Ortega says almost half of the obese people in the study had healthy hearts, were physically fit, and didn’t suffer from diabetes or metabolic syndrome. What’s more, their risk of death from cardiovascular disease or cancer was no greater than that of normal weight volunteers, and much lower than that of other obese people.

FRANCISCO ORTEGA (University of Granada):

There is a common belief that every obese person is unhealthy. But we show in this study that there is quite a large percentage of obese people that are metabolically healthy, actually.

HIRSHON:

He says the take-home message is that even if you’re obese, exercise can improve health, whether or not you end up losing weight. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Being obese doesn't automatically mean you're less healthy than people of normal weight. (Jupiter Images)