Being obese doesn’t always mean you are metabolically unhealthy

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To date, countless epidemiological studies have shown that as you move from a normal weight (BMI = 18.5-24.9 kg/m2) towards overweight (BMI = 25-29.9kg/m2) and obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) the risk of many diseases increases exponentially. Does this imply that every individual carrying excess weight is guaranteed to develop diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, or some other disease? Although this belief prevails, the cumulative research suggests the answer to the above question is a resounding “NO!”

Today it is believed that approximately 25-30% of obese individuals ­remain metabolically healthy (normal blood glucose, blood lipids, blood pressure, and cytokine profile) despite their excess weight. However, despite awareness of the metabolically-health obese phenotype for close to 30 years, there currently exist no established criteria by which to define these individuals.

Japanese sumo wrestlers are often used as a popular example of metabolically healthy obese. They are morbidly obese and yet due to their high level of activity have very little visceral fat accumulation, tons of muscle mass, and a healthy metabolic profile – until they stop training, that is.

[I]t is important to note that excess weight alone doesn’t absolutely guarantee the presence of metabolic disease. There is certainly truth to the notion that there is more to health than the number on one’s bathroom scale.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Can people with obesity be metabolically healthy?