Fat, but Fit? Not so Fast…

It turns out the “fat, but fit” label that has been used by many people including health care providers for a number of years is actually a misnomer. According to new research, it is eschewing that old adage and calling it downright wrong and dangerous. According to the new work published in the European Heart Journal, people who are either overweight or obese are at an increased risk of heart disease even if they appear so-called medically healthy.

The researchers in the UK studied health data on more than a half a million people from 10 European countries. In their research, normal blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels were no assurance of good heart health among obese people. After a follow-up period of more than 12 years, 7,637 of the people in the study had developed heart disease. Weight appeared to be the risk factor in common with the group.

In the study, those overweight and obese individuals were about 28 percent more likely to develop heart disease than individuals with similar readings and a healthy body weight. However, being “fat” and “metabolically unhealthy” – having high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar was risker still.

Researchers like to point out that carrying too much weight and fat can cause future health problems. In fact, saying there’s no such thing as a healthy obese person.

Bottom line: maintaining a healthy weight over time is key in maintaining a healthy heart long term.