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Can people be fat and still fit?
There are people who are relatively athletic and seem to exercise enough, but still carry too much weight with them. It has often been said that people can be fat and fit. Researchers have now found that this myth is not true. Being overweight increases the risk of heart attacks by more than a quarter, even if those affected are otherwise relatively athletic and physically healthy.
In their investigation, scientists from Imperial College London and the internationally recognized University of Cambridge found that being overweight leads to an increased risk of heart attacks, even if those affected are otherwise physically healthy. The doctors released a press release on the results of their study.
Being overweight or obese increases the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) by up to 28 percent
Experts have found that being overweight or obese increases the risk of coronary artery disease (CHD) by up to 28 percent compared to people with a healthy body weight. This risk also persists if people have healthy blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. These results complement a growing body of evidence that the statement “fat but fit” is a myth, the researchers say. People should definitely aim to keep their body weight in a normal range.
Fat deposits lead to metabolic changes
The storage of too much fat in the human body is associated with a number of metabolic changes. These include, for example, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar and a changed cholesterol level. These effects can lead to illnesses and generally poorer health, say the experts.
Healthy overweight people also have an increased risk of heart disease
Earlier studies found some overweight people who appeared to have no adverse health effects from being overweight. These individuals have been classified as metabolically healthy obese in the medical literature. In the media, it became fat but fit. The results show that these overweight, apparently healthy people still have an increased risk of heart disease, explains the author Dr. Camille Lassale from University College London.
Experts analyze data from more than half a million people
In the largest study of its kind to date, the scientists used the data from more than half a million people in ten European countries. The data used was part of the European Prospective Investigation in Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. The results showed that being overweight is associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease, even if people actually have a healthy metabolic profile.
Obesity is a risk factor for health
If people are overweight or obese, every effort should be made to help those affected regain healthy weight. "Even if your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol are in the normal range, being overweight is still a risk factor," explains the author Dr. Camille Lassale.
Healthy overweight people have simply not developed an unhealthy metabolic profile
In the current study, the experts examined the link between being overweight and the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). In this condition, insufficient blood gets to the heart through the clogged arteries, which can then lead to heart attacks, the researchers explain. After twelve years of medical surveillance, a total of 7,637 people in the EPIC cohort experienced adverse effects related to coronary artery disease, such as death from a heart attack. The doctors also selected more than 10,000 people for a control group. The study showed that people who were overweight were classified as healthy if they had not yet developed an unhealthy metabolic profile, the scientists say.
What is the body mass index?
The body weight was classified in the examination according to the definitions of the World Health Organization. The so-called Body Mass Index (BMI) was used for this. People with a body mass index over 30 were classified as obese. People with a BMI of 25-30 were classified as overweight. A BMI of 18.5 - 25 is considered normal body weight, the scientists say.
Experts are studying different metabolic markers
More than half of the participants in the control group (63 percent) were female, with an average age of 53.6 years and an average BMI of 26.1. Participants were classified as unhealthy if they had three or more specific metabolic markers, the study authors explain. These included high blood pressure, blood sugar or triglyceride levels, low HDL cholesterol levels or a waist circumference in men over 94 cm and 80 cm in women.
Results were adapted to various lifestyle factors
After adjusting the results to lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, exercise and socio-economic status, the researchers found that, compared to the subjects from the healthy normal weight group, participants who were classified as unhealthy by weight were more than twice as high There was a risk of coronary artery disease whether they were of normal weight, overweight or obese, the scientists say. Obesity itself does not directly increase the risk of heart disease, but the risk is indirectly triggered by various mechanisms, such as increased blood pressure and a high level of glucose, the experts add. (as)