Fat and Fit

New research demonstrates the limitations of making sweeping health generalizations based on body mass:

You can look great in a swimsuit and still be a heart attack waiting to happen. And you can also be overweight and otherwise healthy. A new study suggests that a surprising number of overweight people — about half — have normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels, while an equally startling number of trim people suffer from some of the ills associated with obesity.

The first national estimate of its kind bolsters the argument that you can be hefty but still healthy, or at least healthier than has been believed.

It looks like the waist measurement is the key. Pot bellied people beware:

The results also add to mounting evidence that thick waists are linked with heart risks.

Among people of healthy weight in the study, elevated blood pressure, cholesterol and other factors were more common for people with larger waists or potbellies. This often signals internal fat deposits surrounding abdominal organs, which previous research has shown can be especially risky.

Similarly, among overweight and obese adults, those in the “healthy” category tended to have smaller waists than those with at least two risk factors.

Smoking, being sedentary and eating junk isn’t a good idea for health, obviously. Still, a person can have an active life, eat well, sleep well and carry extra pounds and be healthy.

Focus less on fat and more on doing the things that make a healthy life. A person might end up losing weight, or not, but will likely live long.

Cross-posted at MelissaClouthier.com

Share this!

Enjoy reading? Share it with your friends!

Send this to a friend