Debates over whether you can be obese and healthy are bubbling up again this week with the publication of some new research.
I’ve seen this issue spark hundreds of online (and offline) spats, so I’m going to tread very carefully, here.
Personally, I know many people who have what could be considered unhealthy levels of fat on their bodies, who can put in some very impressive performance when it comes to exercise.
Recent research concluding that obese people are no more at risk of major killers such as heart disease and cancer than normal people, so long as they regularly exercise, has been widely reported.
However, a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology this week says the opposite. The study of more than 14,000 Korean adults found that obese people had more plaque in their arteries, putting them at increased of heart disease and stroke, even though their blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels were within the “healthy” range.
“Obese individuals who are considered ‘healthy’ because they don’t currently have heart disease risk factors, should not be assumed healthy by their doctors,” said Yoosoo Chang, M.D., lead author of the study.
Rishi Puri, M.D., who runs the Cleveland Clinic’s Atherosclerosis Imaging Core Lab, wrote that the research shows obesity is a real disease. He also asked the question, “Might the resources spent on trying to define and justify the existence of a ‘metabolically healthy’ obese population be more wisely allocated to elucidating ways to prevent or treat obesity?”
As a fitness coach and writer, I leave the science to the scientists, but I do think it’s only common sense to say that most of the things we do be healthy and fit – regular exercise and eating a healthy diet – will usually tend to result in most people not being obese. So should it really come as a surprise that health risks accompany obesity?
Of course, it must be remembered that people can be skinny, or even at what is considered a “healthy weight” and be unhealthy, too.
In my opinion, to thrive physically, whatever our size, we do best when we focus on putting the right amounts of good, wholesome foods into our bodies and taking the actions which keep us fit, strong, mobile and feeling full of vitality.
Julia Buckley is one of Britain’s top writers on fitness and fat loss, her bestselling book The Fat Burn Revolution is now on sale worldwide. Follow her on Twitter for regular tips or join her group on Facebook where she personally answers questions and chats with her readers.