12 August 2008

Are You Fat and Healthy?

You don't always judge a book by its cover. For all you know, some of the fat people you know may be healthier than you expected. They might have what is now termed as, "metabolically benign obesity."

In today's online issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers from two studies say that not all fat people are unhealthy, and not all thin people are healthy.

In the first study, the authors have shown that it is possible for some people to have "benign obesity." Benign obesity is when you are obese, and yet, you neither have insulin resistance (a sign that heralds your possibility of having diabetes later on) nor the signs of early atherosclerosis.

The location of fat was also deemed important. Fat in the bellies (abdominal fat) of normal weight and overweight people tend to correlate with a higher risk of developing diabetes or heart disease. For obese individuals, the dangerous fat location is in the liver. Ever heard of fatty liver?

In the second study, US researchers found out that: "Among US adults 20 years and older, 23.5% (approximately 16.3 million adults) of normal-weight adults were metabolically abnormal, whereas 51.3% (approximately 35.9 million adults) of overweight adults and 31.7% (approximately 19.5 million adults) of obese adults were metabolically healthy."

Imagine that. More than half of overweight adults and almost a third of obese adults do not have metabolic problems, but more than 20 percent of normal-weight adults had problems.

In the journal's editorial, Dr. Lewis Landsberg, director of the Northwestern University obesity center, emphasized that the need to become healthy and fit goes beyond losing the fat you see. It is also about losing visceral fat --- the fat that engulfs your internal organs. To achieve this, you must consult your doctor, exercise regularly, and modify your diet.
blog comments powered by Disqus