A new study is trying to settle the ongoing on whether a person can be both overweight and also perfectly health.
There is such a thing as “fat but fit,” says a study published “The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.”
German scientists say that identifying “metabolically healthy obesity” would allow healthcare professionals to stop giving expensive treatment to a population that’s not at risk.
“Results from several prospective studies show that only obese, unfit individuals, but not obese, fit individuals, are at higher mortality risk than are normal weight fit individuals,” the study said.
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Lead author, Professor Matthias Schulze from the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Nuthetal, said doctors should not be focused solely on BMI.
BMI or body mass index is calculated by dividing one’s weight by the square of their height, indentifying health, overweight, and obese categories.
“It’s obvious that just BMI is insufficient to classify risk,” Schulze said. “That’s nothing new but it’s not received as much attention as it should. There should be a more complex assessment of risk factors.”
He said public health experts need to define this “fat but fit” category to keep them from getting expensive, unnecessary treatments like bariatric surgery.
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“In view of the magnitude of the obesity epidemic, stratification of obese individuals, in terms of their risk for obesity-related metabolic diseases, becomes more important for prevention and treatment purposes,” he said.
Schulze warned that obese people should still try to lose the pounds.
“It would be false reassurance to think you’re obese but you feel fine and until now you don’t have high blood pressure,” he said.