“Healthy Obesity” shown to be a complete myth

“Healthy Obesity” shown to be a complete myth

There have been a few studies over the last year somehow insinuating or suggesting that ‘being fat can be healthy’.  This stinks to me of a marketing attempt by the big business food and beverage industry...

A new Canadian meta-analysis of 8 international studies on 61,386 people tells the truth about weight gain.

"Weight gain as fat in the liver can be harmful at very low levels.  A number of things work to increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and death over time.  In particular, fat in the liver interferes with its function and insulin sensitivity.  This starts a domino effect.  Insensitivity to insulin causes the pancreas to compensate by raising insulin output.  Higher insulin levels affect other hormones in a cascade that causes inflammation.  Fight-or-flight hormones are affected, raising blood pressure.  Liver dysfunction also impairs blood cholesterol levels.  Lifestyle practices conducive to weight control over the long term are generally conducive to better overall health as well.  I favor a focus on finding health over a focus on losing weight”
Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, December 2013.

"These data suggest that increased body weight is not a benign condition, even in the absence of metabolic abnormalities, and argue against the concept of healthy obesity or benign obesity.  We found that metabolically healthy obese individuals are indeed at increased risk for death and cardiovascular events over the long term as compared with metabolically healthy normal-weight individuals”
Dr Ravi Retnakaran, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, December 2013.

"This finding again argues against the notion that increased BMI can be harmless.  Our results do not support this concept of ‘benign obesity’ and demonstrate that there is no ‘healthy’ pattern of obesity.  Even within the same category of metabolic status (healthy or unhealthy) we show that certain cardiovascular risk factors (blood pressure, waist circumference, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, insulin resistance) progressively increase from normal weight to overweight to obese”
Study by Caroline K. Kramer, MD, PhD, of the Leadership Sinai Center for Diabetes at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, December 2013.

"Obesity is taking a toll on the health and well-being of Americans.  Is a person who has lost enough weight to achieve normal metabolic measures but who has sleep problems, orthopedic issues, or difficulty managing stress really ‘healthy?’  Accepting that no level of obesity is healthy is an important step toward deciding how best to use our resources and our political will to develop and implement strategies to combat the obesity epidemic”

James O. Hill, PhD, and Holly R. Wyatt, MD, of the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center in Aurora, December 2013.

What has the new Canadian meta-analysis of 8 international studies on 61,386 people found?

  • The researchers compared all-cause mortality and the number of cardiovascular events in people who were metabolically healthy and overweight, metabolically healthy and obese, and metabolically unhealthy and normal weight, overweight, or obese with events in people who were metabolically healthy and normal weight
  • Excess weight was clearly shown to raise your risk of death over time
  • The overweight who did not have high blood pressure or diabetes still had a 24% higher rate of heart attack and stroke after 10 years
  • The overweight who did not have high blood pressure or diabetes still had a 24% higher rate of early death after 10 years
  • When applied to the worldwide population, their findings translate to 1.4 million deaths or heart problems over a decade

Study by Caroline K. Kramer, MD, PhD, of the Leadership Sinai Center for Diabetes at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, et al “Are metabolically healthy overweight and obesity benign conditions? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of body mass index and metabolic status phenotypes on all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events”, as published in the December 3, 2013 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine; 159(11): 758-769.  As reported by HealthDay News, MedPage Today and CBC News on December 2, 2013.

Posted: Saturday 8 March 2014