- New study finds that some obese people had healthier blood pressure and blood fat
- But even these people still have a 34% increased risk of heart failure and arrhythmias.
- That comes after a US study last week claimed it’s possible to be fat and fit
It is not possible to be fat and fit at the same time, French experts have concluded.
A study of 3 million people also found volunteers who were obese but “metabolically healthy” were still significantly more likely to suffer from heart problems.
Obese people with normal blood pressure and those who did not have diabetes still had a 34 percent increased risk of heart failure and a similar risk of irregular heart rate.
Lead author Dr Laurent Fouchier, a cardiologist at the Center Hospitalier Université Trousseau, said the idea that people could be ‘fat but fit’ was ‘simply untrue’.
Last week, a US study found that people needed to focus only on exercise rather than dieting to live longer.
It’s possible to be ‘fat but fit’ – people just need to focus on exercise instead of dieting to live longer, expert now claims (stock image)
The latest French research was presented to the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.
It looked at the medical records of nearly 2.9 million adults, of whom nearly one in 10 was obese.
All participants were admitted to French hospitals in 2013 and had no major cardiovascular problems, including heart attack or stroke, in the past. He was monitored for five years.
Dr Fauchier said: ‘This new and best available evidence tells us that at the population level, the idea that large numbers of people can be obese but metabolically healthy is simply untrue.’
Overeating ‘not the primary cause of obesity, scientists claim’
Scientists have claimed that overeating is not the main cause of obesity.
They say consuming the wrong kinds of foods – rather than too many – is the real driver of one of the biggest health woes in the West.
The team of US researchers is calling for a complete rethink of the public health message on obesity, with the focus now on foods high in processed sugar.
They say snacks like sweets, fizzy drinks and sugary cereals trigger hormonal imbalances that lead to hunger and weight gain.
David Ludwig, an endocrinologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, said it is time to end the ‘century-old’ idea that obesity is caused by ‘consumption of more energy than it expends’.
About four in 10 American adults and three in 10 adults are obese, which puts them at higher risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
The report comes as the UK has been selected by the World Health Organization to work with countries across Europe to reduce national sugar intake.
Cardiologists refute a controversial claim made last week by researchers in Arizona and Virginia that people can be fat and fit.
US researchers who reviewed existing studies said that when it comes to trying to be healthy and reducing the risk of dying early, increasing exercise and improving fitness was more effective than reducing flab.
Numerous studies have shown how people around the world have been trying to lose weight over the past 40 years, and yet obesity continues to rise.
Glenn Geiser, a professor in Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions, and Siddharth Angadi, an associate professor in the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia, believe it will also cut the health risks associated with so-called yo-yoing. Yo dieting in which people lose weight only to gain it again in repeat cycles.
He said last week: ‘Weight-focused approaches to the treatment and prevention of obesity have been largely ineffective.
In addition, repeated weight loss efforts can contribute to weight gain, and are undoubtedly associated with a higher prevalence of weight cycling (yo-yo dieting), which is associated with significant health risks.
‘Many health conditions related to obesity are more likely due to low physical activity and cardio-respiratory fitness rather than obesity.’
The researchers said that adopting a ‘weight-neutral approach’ did not mean that weight loss should be ‘explicitly discouraged’.
He adds: ‘But shifting the focus away from weight loss as a primary goal and instead focusing on increasing physical activity to improve cardio-respiratory fitness may be prudent for treating obesity-related health conditions.’
Their claims seem to contradict a study published this summer by researchers at the University of Glasgow, which tracked 381,263 adults over 11 years. They concluded that it is not possible to be fat, but to be fit – a misleading phrase that doctors should stop using.
People who were ‘metabolically healthy’ but obese were 22 percent more likely to die than those who were of normal weight. They were 18 percent more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, 76 percent more likely to have heart failure and four times more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes.
However, writing in the journal iScience, Professor Geser said: ‘Fat can fit, and fit, healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes.
‘In a weight-obsessed culture it can be challenging for programs that don’t focus on weight loss to gain traction.
‘We are not necessarily against weight loss – we feel it should not be the primary criterion for determining the success of a lifestyle intervention program.’