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Can You Be Fat and Fit ?

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People who are overweight are often labeled as being lazy or unfit, but now it seems that conventional wisdom is being overturned as far as this particular aspect is concerned. What has been said recently in health circles is that we are becoming far too obsessed with being overweight and the state of our health. And that we are being slightly missed lead to some extent, by following conventional wisdom.

A report which was released by the Archives of Internal Medicine, did a comparison of people regarding potential heart health risks, and also took their weight into consideration.

When the data came back it showed that even though some people were overweight, metabolically they were quite healthy, so just because you are overweight it doesn’t mean you can’t be healthy at the same time, but we must stress a point here.

This does not mean to say that you can go out and stuff yourself with food and think to yourself I am now healthy even though I am overweight, because there is more to this as we shall see.

The study compared 5,400 people and took into consideration their actual weight and possible risk of cardiovascular disease, and it was found being metabolically healthier even though they were overweight, they had lower levels of cholesterol, their blood pressure was good and their blood glucose levels were good as well.

Interestingly they found that even thin people which they said was about one in four, who were said to have a healthy weight, were typically found to have two risk factors which can be associated with heart disease (cardiovascular). As we all well know there are lots of health factors, which are related with being overweight or obese, such as diabetes, short-term mortality.

And now even as the latest research shows that these people are far more likely to have some sort of health problem which will be related to their heart whether it be high cholesterol and or blood pressure, but the researchers were quite surprised when doing their research of the amount of obese and overweight people who in fact to quote in their words were metabolically healthy.

“We use ‘overweight’ almost indiscriminately sometimes,” said Mary Fran Sowers, a co-author of the study and professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan . “But there is lots of individual variation within that, and we need to be cognizant of that as we think about what our health messages should be.”

This was followed by a report that came out last autumn that stated people who are overweight can actually have longer lives than their normal weight counterparts. This actual report created quite a lot of controversy amongst the health fraternity claiming it was very inaccurate what the data presented. Saying it hid the fact that people whom are over weight or obese are at a far more higher risk of suffering from a heart related health problem than people who are thin. The people who criticized it said it didn’t correlate with what the mortality statistics said.

One of the problems seems to be our distorted perception of what it means to be overweight or obese, the most well-known way of judging whether a person is overweight or obese is by using a measure of something called body mass index or BMI for short.

This is supposed to be one of the most accurate way’s of determining if somebody is overweight or obese or not, it works on a method by measuring your height combined with your weight and then a figure is calculated which is your BMI . < 25 and you’re considered to be healthy > 25 then you’re considered to be overweight > 30 then your now in the obese category.


Katherine Flegal who did the study for the CDC which was the one that came out in autumn which was very heavily criticized, said that they found, even though people whom had a BMI of 25 and whom were thought to be big would still have health problems largely because of their size and of course there BMI .

Some research which was put together in Dallas, which used treadmills in order to see how people compared with each other, said that the performance that people gave was a far better indicator of being fit than relying on body mass index purely on its own.

The people who were able to sustain themselves for longer on the treadmill taken into consideration even though they were overweight, were found to have a lot lower risk of heart disease compared to thinner people whom were unfit.

In December some statistics were brought up to correlate with these findings they looked at the mortality rates of 2,600 adults of 60 years age and older, and this was done over a 12 year monitoring period, the ones having a BMI of between 25 and 30, and this is where it gets really interesting were slightly lower than people who had a normal weight.

Mortality rates were considerably higher for those people who were in the bracket of aBMI of 35 or more, but here is the most interesting aspect of all of this whole thing is, the people whom had the lowest fitness were far more likely to die earlier despite their weight, than those with poor fitness.

So it just goes to show and prove that no matter what weight you are, even doing some form of fitness training you will reap the rewards no matter what, when they were conducting the test on the treadmill it was quite simplistic how they did it.

The treadmill was set to go at a reasonable pace and the increment was done every so often, in order for somebody to become qualified as being fit all they needed, to do was stay on the treadmill for eight minutes, women had a lower rate of five and half minutes.

The participants who couldn’t manage to stay on at all were put in a group of those at highest risk, they took into consideration things like smoking, any cardiovascular problems which may have occurred in the past, and their conclusion was that overall fitness was a far better indicator of a longer life rather than their weight.

So the moral of this story is don’t really get in a mess if you are overweight, but work towards becoming healthier because as we now know you can be thin and still have health risks if you are unfit.

The overall moral of this particular story is do what works for you and work towards what is best for you ultimately, if you particularly want to weigh less, and do not stop yourself from trying to reach your target weight. Just don’t worry too much about the fact that you are overweight focus on becoming fitter and the two will come together in time.


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