Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Can you be obese, yet totally healthy?

The Study
The idea that it is possible to be obese yet healthy has been bounced around for some time. This hypothesis was tested in an investigation of the Whitehall II cohort of British government workers. In this cohort of 2,521 men and women, 66 met the criteria for being obese (BMI ≥30) and healthy (<2 of the following metabolic symptoms: low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, high fasting glucose, high triglycerides, insulin resistance). After 20 years of follow up, more than half of the healthy obese subjects progressed to unhealthy obesity. Furthermore, after 20 years, the healthy obese in this cohort were nearly 8 times more likely to progress to an unhealthy obese state than the healthy non-obese adults. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2015; 65:101-02.

Take Home Message
This study presents convincing evidence that if you are obese but currently healthy, there is a good chance that you won’t be for long. If your BMI is 30 or greater, get it below 25, even if you are free of metabolic symptoms.

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