Can People Be Fat Yet Fit?

People can be obese yet physically healthy and fit and at no greater risk of heart disease or cancer than normal weight people, say researchers. The key is being “metabolically fit”, meaning no high blood pressure, cholesterol or raised blood sugar, and exercising, according to experts.

Looking at data from over 43,000 US people they found that being overweight per se did not pose a big health risk. The results are published in the European Heart Journal.

In the study at the University of South Carolina, more than a third of the participants were obese. Of these 18,500, half were assessed as metabolically healthy after a physical examination and lab tests. This subset of metabolically healthy obese people who did not suffer from conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, were generally fitter and exercised more than the other obese people. And their risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer was identical to people of ideal weight and was half that of “metabolically less fit” obese people.


Lead researcher Dr Francisco Ortega, who currently works at the University of Granada in Spain, said the findings show that getting more exercise can keep you healthier, even if you still carry a bit of extra weight.

Amy Thompson, of the British Heart Foundation, said: “In the majority of cases, obesity is an undeniable risk factor for developing coronary heart disease. However, these studies remind us that it is not always your weight that’s important, but where you carry fat and also how it affects your health and fitness.. It is particularly important to be aware of your weight if you are carrying excess fat around your middle…”

Do you believe that you can be fat yet fit? How do you personally maintain a metabolically fit body? Share your health regimen with us!

Source: BBC News

Image: Independent

Benefits of Moderate Drinking After Heart Attack

After a heart attack, men who continue to drink one or two alcoholic beverages a day may live longer than heavy drinkers or non-drinkers. Those findings appear in the European Heart Journal.

Moderate amounts of alcohol may boost levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. It may also make blood less likely to clot and reduce levels of inflammation in the body,  researcher Jennifer K. Pai, ScD, tells WebMD in an email.

The study tracked nearly 2,000 male heart attack survivors for about 20 years. Every four years, they were asked about their alcohol use and diet. Men who had two drinks a day (with a drink being 4 ounces of wine, a bottle or can of beer, or a shot of liquor) were classified as “moderate” drinkers. Heavy drinkers were as likely to die during the study as men who never drank following a heart attack. Most of the men did not change their drinking habits after they had a heart attack. The new findings may not apply to female heart attack survivors.


Sandra V. Chaparro, MD, a cardiologist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, says, “If you are consuming two drinks of alcohol a day, you don’t have to change that, because it has some preventive benefits,” she says. But that’s not a green light to drink more alcohol. “High amounts of alcohol will damage the brain, heart, and liver,” Chaparro says.

Many health experts do not encourage teetotalers to start drinking for health benefits. “Given the adverse effects of heavy alcohol intake and potential interactions with medications, we recommend that men discuss their individual risks and benefits with their physicians before starting to drink,” Pai says.

Source: Web MD

Image: ABC News Radio