Healthy overweight? Isn't fatness harmful to health?

Studies: Obesity may not be as unhealthy as expected

Various scientific studies have shown that obesity can take many years to live, but some studies have shown that fatness is less unhealthy than expected.

Being fat is unhealthy

Numerous scientific studies have shown that obesity and obesity are unhealthy. If you weigh too much, you have a higher risk of secondary or concomitant diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), fat metabolism disorders, coronary heart diseases such as heart attacks and certain cancers. But according to recent studies, fat people do not generally have a poorer health forecast. Because, according to US scientists, the Body Mass Index (BMI) says little about our health. And according to Swedish researchers, fat people today live longer than slim people.

Obese people have a lower mortality rate than slim ones

According to a Swedish study, obese people today have a lower mortality rate than normal people. According to study author Børge G. Nordestgaard from the Copenhagen University Hospital, the reason for this change has not been clearly clarified.

Data from more than 100,000 people in Denmark were evaluated for the study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA).

These were examined for their mortality in the years 1976 to 1978, 1991 to 1994 and from 2003 to 2013.

It was found that people in the 1970s lived the longest with a BMI of 23.7 (this corresponds to a weight of 78 kg with a size of 1.83).

At the beginning of the 1990s, the optimal BMI was 24.6 - that is five kilos more for the same height.

And in the span from 2003 to 2013, the optimal BMI even increased to 27, which corresponds to a good 90 kilograms with a body size of 1.83 - twelve kilograms more than in the 1970s.

Rethink definition of overweight

The study also revealed that obese people had a higher mortality rate than normal weight people in the 1970s, but have lived just as long since the 2000s. According to the researchers, the findings must be used to redefine where overweight begins.

According to a report from the ScienceDaily website, Nordestgaard said: "If this finding is confirmed in other studies, it would indicate that WHO needs to revise its current definitions of overweight, based on data from before the 1990s . "

The scientist also indicated that further investigation is needed to understand the reason for this change and its effects.

The researchers also wrote that the results should not be interpreted as meaning that people no longer pay attention to healthy eating.

US and Canadian scientists came to similar results years ago as their Swedish colleagues.

At the time, they also reported in the Journal of the Medical American Association (JAMA) that overweight people live longer. However, the mortality risk associated with extreme obesity increases enormously.

BMI says little about health

The normal weight is currently determined using the Body Mass Index (BMI). From a BMI of 30, one speaks of obesity. That would be 86.5 kilograms for a body height of 1.70 meters.

The BMI can be calculated by dividing the body weight in kilograms by the square of the height in meters. With a BMI between 25 and 30, a person is considered overweight and over 30 is considered obese.

However, a study conducted by scientists from the University of California at Los Angeles (USA) showed that the BMI does not provide any decisive information about human health.

The researchers, who published their results in the "International Journal of Obesity" magazine, criticize the fact that many people are classified as unhealthy even though they only have a higher BMI.

The study showed that around 54 million Americans who were considered unhealthy due to their weight had no symptoms of illness.

According to the information, various values ​​such as blood pressure, blood sugar levels or cholesterol levels showed no abnormalities.

To get to their conclusion, the researchers analyzed the data from around 40,000 Americans from the National Health Nutrition Examination Survey and extrapolated the result to the entire population.

Slim people with bad values

"Many people view obesity as a death sentence," said A. Janet Tomiyama, lead author of the study, in a post on "EurekAlert!" "However, the data shows that there are millions of people who are overweight and obese, but in good health."

Almost half of the population that the BMI classifies as overweight is healthy. Another 20 million people who are considered obese are also healthy.

On the other hand, over 30 percent of people with “normal” BMI have been found to have poor health measurements, including blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

"There are healthy people who could be punished for incorrect health measurements while unhealthy people of normal weight are not recognized as such," Tomiyama criticized.

Co-author Jeffrey Hunger commented on the study results: "This should be the last nail in the coffin for BMI". (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Can you be fat and healthy? (August 2020).