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'Healthy and overweight' is a myth, say researchers

By Nathan Gray+

04-Dec-2013

There is no such thing as being healthy and overweight, according to a newly published systematic review and meta-analysis.

The analysis, published in JAMA'sAnnals of Internal Medicine noted that previous research has suggested that being obese might not increase the risk heart disease and early death if no metabolic problems - such as those found in metabolic syndrome - exist.

Led by Caroline Kramer of Mount Sinai Hospital and the University of Toronto, Canada, the team investigated the associations between obesity, metabolic health and heart disease using pooled data from more than 60,000 people that had been involved in eight studies.

Analysis revealed that metabolically healthy but obese individuals had increased risk for heart disease when compared with metabolically healthy normal-weight individuals, when only studies with 10 or more years of follow-up were considered. The research also showed that regardless of BMI category, metabolically unhealthy individuals had increased risk for events compared with healthy normal-weight individuals.

The team concluded that both BMI and metabolic status should be considered when evaluating an individual's health risks.

"Compared with metabolically healthy normal-weight individuals, obese persons are at increased risk for adverse long-term outcomes even in the absence of metabolic abnormalities, suggesting that there is no healthy pattern of increased weight," they added.

The full study can be found here.

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