A new meta-analysis study conducted by researchers from the Imperial School of Public Health and the University of Cambridge has found that people who are overweight but appear to be healthy were at a higher risk of developing heart disease.
The study, which was published in the European Heart Journal, studied health data from previous studies of about 500 000 people from 10 European countries.
They found that people that were overweight but did not have issues with their blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol were not necessarily in the clear, and were actually 28% more likely to develop heart disease over the years than their non-overweight counterparts with similar metabolic health readings.
The study is essentially saying that overweight people who have normal blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels are not necessarily assured of good health, denouncing the whole notion of “fat but fit”.
“I think there is no longer this concept of healthy obese. If anything, our study shows that people with excess weight who might be classed as ‘healthy’ haven’t yet developed an unhealthy metabolic profile,” said Dr Ioanna Tzoulaki from the Imperial School of Public Health.
“That comes later in the timeline, then they have an event, such as a heart attack.”
Speaking to the BBC, Professor Metin Avkiran of the British Heart Foundation, one of the organisations that funded the study, speaks about the key message of the study.
“The take-home message here is that maintaining a healthy body weight is a key step towards maintaining a healthy heart,” Avkiran said.
Additional source: BBC