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You can be fat AND fit, researchers say
September 4th, 2012
07:01 PM ET

You can be fat AND fit, researchers say

"I'm in shape," a friend of mine repeatedly quips at the gym. "Round is a shape."

It's an old joke, but there may be some truth to it. A new study published this week in the European Heart Journal shows it is possible to be both obese and healthy.

"It is well known that obesity is linked to a large number of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular problems and cancer," lead study author Dr. Francisco Ortega said in a statement. "However, there appears to be a sub-set of obese people who seem to be protected from obesity-related metabolic complications."

The study

Researchers analyzed data from 43,265 participants in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study, which was done between 1979 and 2003.

The participants' body fat percentages were determined using hydrostatic weighing (submersion in water) or skinfold measures, and their fitness levels were tested on a treadmill. Using these criteria, 29.7% of the study participants were labeled obese. Of the obese, nearly half were considered "metabolically healthy."

All of the participants were followed until 2003; 1,779 died during that time period.

Restricting calories may not prolong your life

What's metabolically healthy mean?

Your metabolic health is determined by several factors: High blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL - or good - cholesterol and high fasting glucose levels. For this study, a participant was considered metabolically healthy if they displayed zero or only one of the above symptoms.

Ortega and his colleagues use several terms to describe the study participants who were obese but metabolically healthy. They call it "uncomplicated obesity" or "metabolically benign obesity." Basically that means the obese individuals saw few negative health effects of their extra weight.

The results

The researchers found that the metabolically healthy but obese participants had a 38% lower risk of dying than their metabolically unhealthy peers. There was also no risk difference between the metabolically healthy obese and the metabolically healthy normal weight participants.

"Our study, together with previous literature, strongly suggest that a better cardiorespiratory fitness will make you healthier regardless of your weight status," Ortega told CNN. "These findings clearly support the notion that doing exercise and improving fitness might be an effective public health tool for fighting against obesity."

'The Beast' races to lose 100 pounds

Caveats

As in any research, there are limitations to the conclusions drawn from the results. Insulin resistance - a precursor of diabetes - was not measured in the study participants. The data also did not show how long the participants were obese, which can be an important predictor of metabolic risk, according to the study authors.

Still, one thing is clear to Ortega: "Exercise benefits everyone, regardless of fitness and fatness level. So exercise should be encouraged by doctors to all the patients."

Why you really should get 'Fit by 40'


soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Sir Max-A-Lot

    If it ain't got back, it's wack.

    September 5, 2012 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anna

      The food was changed in the USA, UK and Australia 30 years ago when dangerous food chemicals from the USA was allowed into Europe. The food today causes stubborn insulin If you have stubborn insulin you hold fat and have a hard time losing weight. You can eat very little and the weight still does not come off. Stubborn insulin will hold fat and diets won’t work. When researchers used a specialized diabetes diet on overweight people all lost weight even those who did not have diabetes.

      just google SPIRIT HAPPY DIET

      September 5, 2012 at 12:35 | Report abuse |
    • jim86

      Another "Expert" peddling a diet...

      September 6, 2012 at 08:17 | Report abuse |
    • CR from CA

      Stubborn insulin ... seriously? What does it do, talk back and refuse to eat its vegetables. I am surprised the world isn't more messed up with wing nut ideas like this floating around. P.T. Barnum was certainly correct.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:45 | Report abuse |
  2. Sure thing

    Somewhere a fattie just read this, said "yes!" ...and then shoved a twinkie in their face.

    September 5, 2012 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • up yours

      I'm fat. No twinkies here.

      September 5, 2012 at 14:23 | Report abuse |
    • mdonln

      Actually, it was 2 slices of pizza and 2 cookies. Why are you so worried about my health or the health of other 'fatties' like me? I notice at the gym a lot of people are ticked off that I'm bigger and (in their minds) out of shape but can outlast and outdo them every time in a very intense spinning class (or any other) aerobic activity. Get over it. Some of us don't need a study to know how fit we are.

      September 5, 2012 at 15:31 | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      That's kinda funny, but not true. You can't be fit by stuffing your face. Back in college I was an athlete, but considered over weight. However, my doctor disagreed even then. I think it was the fact that I had a 48 beats per minute resting heart rate, hehe. He just kept repeating as if in shock "You're a moose!" Now that's what they mean by being fat but still fit. You sit around and stuff your face... that ain't gonna happen.

      September 5, 2012 at 20:46 | Report abuse |
    • Shettmastes

      I Sure Did

      September 6, 2012 at 08:04 | Report abuse |
    • Crocky

      Nope, just finished a serving of homemade 4 bean chicken chili, some celery and a nectarine.

      Granted, I'm not as big of a fatty as I used to be either, but I'm one of those that is metabolically healthy, thanks to a healthy diet of mostly whole foods and dishes prepared with whole foods and regular exercise.

      September 6, 2012 at 14:10 | Report abuse |
    • your face

      your probably one of them

      September 21, 2012 at 08:30 | Report abuse |
  3. Joe

    I have certainly seen some larger slightly overwieght women who exercise their genetically large boned bodies into tight – dynamic shape, sexy, appealing and beautiful. However, obese women who don't even bother to do that just want empathy and excuses. "Love me for who I am inside" is the cry of the lazy fat ugly woman because no matter how pretty you might be, if you are lazy and fat you are ugly. What I hate more is the women who come to their defense, if you knew her you'd see that she is the most beautiful person in the world. Get this straight: Not if your a man and looking for companionship and a physical relationship. That beautiful personality, kind spirit, giving and generous, funny and endearing does matter but not in terms of physical attractiveness. In my opinion there has to be balance in all aspects, I'll take nice, sweet and not quite so wonderful as the fat a__ chick, but nice physically any day of the week becasue it represents overall balance. I don't give a dam if you're the sweetest most kind woman in the world, if you don't have physical balance to go with it then good luck finding a nice man who is fit to give you the time of day. You'll have to settle for the fat dude or loser type and all that beatiful personality goes to waste.
    FIt and trim bodies are absolutely the norm and about as visually appealing as you can get. I am NOT shallow for not entertaining that being fat is somehow unavoidable, that's a bunch of baloney. It's unappealing to say the least, it represents a lazy character and someone who doesn't want to look their best or take pride in their appearance. Sorry, I'll take a size 4 in a tight mini over a size 14 with pretty spirit in a big awful flowery dress any day. I cannot and should not have to be accepting of any of the dozens of excuses for the inability to get in shape.

    September 5, 2012 at 12:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sure thing

      Oh man, the fatties are about to descend on you like you are a bag of Oreos.

      September 5, 2012 at 12:49 | Report abuse |
    • UFC iTard

      No, her bones are dee same size, her skin is BIG!

      September 5, 2012 at 12:58 | Report abuse |
    • guest

      I bet you are fat, lazy and ugly. So, if an ugly, fat and lazy girl exercises and she loses weight and now she's a size 4 is she finally pretty? Uh oh, maybe she is still ugly because exercising doesn't fix ugly. Everyone should just take pride in themselves and exercise for their own health not to be a certain standard for jerks like yourself.

      September 5, 2012 at 13:09 | Report abuse |
    • musicmom

      Well said, jerks like yourself...

      September 5, 2012 at 13:20 | Report abuse |
    • Orly?

      @ guest

      Yes, going from fat and lazy to athletic and active is an improvement no matter how you cut it.

      September 5, 2012 at 13:29 | Report abuse |
    • Valerie

      Big boned? Have you ever seen a fat skeleton? Neither have I!

      September 5, 2012 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      So, considering the time and effort put into your comment, I'm guessing you are not an internet troll just looking to rile people up. No, I think you are just a regular ol' troll with an ugly personality. I am a formerly size 16, 185 lbs woman, who is now 135 lbs and a size 6 and am the same beautiful person on the inside as I was when I was heavier. But had we ever met, you wouldn't know that because in spite of what you believe about yourself, you ARE shallow. Trust me, those women with the wonderful spirit and great personality and a few extra pounds wouldn't be caught dead with someone like you. So you won't have to worry about ending up with one. Good luck keeping the high-maintenance size 4 in a tight mini satisfied.

      September 5, 2012 at 14:19 | Report abuse |
    • Orly?

      @ Stephanie

      So all size 4s are high maintenance. Will keep that in mind...
      If you think the vast majority of people (both men and women) don't consider physical attrraction to some extent when it comes to social interaction then you're living in a dream world. Granted, most people aren't as blunt as Joe over here.

      September 5, 2012 at 14:47 | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      @Orly
      No, not all size 4 are high-maintenance, but I would wager my mortgage that those are the only size 4 girls he's going to attract because anyone else will have too much confidence in who they are on the inside and outside to even give him a second look.

      For me attractiveness is about both what is on the inside and outside. I've know some very good looking, fit, men (by most women's standards) that were not attractive because their ugly personality took away from their outer appearance. By the same token, I've known many men that were average looking but they are kind, caring, honest, ethical, and loyal but maybe had some extra weight and were very attractive. Some people are just able to look at the whole package versus just what's on the outside. So, I don't live in a dream world, I've just lived long enough to know what counts.

      September 5, 2012 at 16:26 | Report abuse |
    • Orly?

      The "dream world" that I was refering to was just the idea that personality always trumps looks. It's clear that even you draw a line when the opposite to your "good looking with an ugly personality" is "average looking with a great personality". Are you really going to take the Quasimodo with the heart of gold over the Brad Pitt lookalike with the average (but not bad) personality?

      September 5, 2012 at 17:04 | Report abuse |
    • Brigit

      I've been fat, thin, fit, and everything in between. I've also had my fair share of admirers from all walks of life. Fat phobia is the least of your issues. Your rant is laced with misogyny and stupidity. Most women in the U.S. are definitely not a size 4. Keep searching for your fantasy.

      September 5, 2012 at 22:00 | Report abuse |
    • Crocky

      As someone who used to be that lazy, ugly fat woman, I'm right there with ya, Joe. I'm not sure what exactly happened, but when that inner motivation switch to get healthy turned on, I was hitting the ground running.

      Now, I literally AM hitting the ground running...to the tune of 3.5 miles a day, 3 days a week, along with swimming, yoga, cycling and strength training. I lost 86 pounds in 8 months, and with 25 pounds left to go until I hit my target weight. At that point, I'll see what my fat percentage is and see if I need to lose more. In my case, I'm better off focusing on my body composition than my BMI, since I do have a large skeletal frame.

      All I know is that I'm a much happier, healthier person and I love my new life!

      September 6, 2012 at 14:15 | Report abuse |
    • Crocky

      However, Joe, as an FYI, there ARE women out there that are fit and are a size 14. It depends on how big your skeletal frame is (which no one has control over) and other quirks in a woman's body (long torso, wide hips, etc.)

      Yes, I still have some weight left to lose, but I certainly am not repulsive in a size 16. You'd be surprised what sizes women you find attractive wear! They may be bigger than you think!

      September 6, 2012 at 14:19 | Report abuse |
    • Alissa

      Joe: Do you realize that Marilyn Monroe was a size 14? Do you consider her body type fat and unattractive? Attractiveness is in the eye of the beholder. Some people find bigger people attractive; it's very much a cultural and personal preference. The issue discussed here is whether or not bigger people can also be healthy, not whether they are attractive.

      September 15, 2012 at 07:15 | Report abuse |
  4. bobby mitchell

    never listen to researcher's or expert's because they'll say you can be fat one day and the next day your better off skinny ? when are you people gone learn that they really don't know what their talking about their just guessing.

    September 5, 2012 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Orly?

      No one should need an expert to tell them that both extremes are generally unhealthy and undesirable.

      September 5, 2012 at 12:59 | Report abuse |
  5. Paul

    There was NO mention of visceral fat which is the predictor of heart disease and other chronic ailments. These are the fats that produce high amounts of free radicals and other oxydized acids which cause inflammation in blood vessels. Surface fat is temporary and is easier to lose with diet and exercise. Visceral fat is more difficult. High consumption of high fructose corn syrup and other large sources of free fructose is responsible for a lot of this problem.

    September 5, 2012 at 13:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. CP

    About 5 years ago, I came to from a stupor to realize I was about 35 lbs overweight. I ate what I thought was a healthy diet, including plenty of veggies, lean meats, etc. My family and I would do active things like spend time playing at the beach all day, go for day hikes, etc. When I really started focusing on getting the maximum nutritional value from every calorie that goes in my mouth for 90% of my food, and allowing myself 10% of not-maximum value (note: not empty calories), I lost that weight and more. If I want to treat myself to something over the allotted calories for the day, then I need to perform some sort of physical activity to burn those extra calories. Once it became my lifestyle, it was/is easy to keep it off.

    If I slip for 3 or 4 days like on vacation and don\'t workout, eat willy-nilly whatever is put in front of me, I can easily gain 10 lbs in a week. The bottom line is, it is a priority and I know that it will be my lifestyle for always if I want to stay thin, continue to increase my stamina, increase my cardiovasular health, continue to gain strength, and reap the benefits of that lifestyle by enjoying the way my clothes fit, looking great in a bikini, and having people think I\'m 10 years younger than I am.

    I was never \"obese\" per se, but overweight for sure. I wasn\'t sitting around doing nothing and stuffing my face with cheeseburgers and bon bons all day when i was overweight, but I sure wasn\'t working out to burn, and wasn\'t paying attention to the amount of what I put in my mouth. I was just, you know, living my life and eating my meals. I was not CONSCIOUS of it.

    I go to the gym every day, and there are a LOT of folks there that just kinda mess around for an hour. Like do 5-6 reps on weights and then wander around for 10 minutes before picking another machine to do 5-6 reps on. I\'m there for 1.5 hours every day, and they look at me like I\'m weird because I am working my ass off, soaking dripping wet with sweat and pushing it to the limit. I think people over estimate the benefit they get from working out. The only real way to know is to track it. You\'d be surprised how easily you can put back more calories than you intend, and burn less than you think. Seriously, even hummus and carrot sticks will easily get up there in calories if you aren\'t paying attention!

    Anyway, I have never seen a truly obese person that is fit. Heavy, yes, but that\'s totally different from obese. OBESE is absolutely never ever healthy. Heavy, I can see, doesn\'t necessarily preclude being healthy – and this is coming from someone that was always in the \"over weight\" category on all weight charts my whole life until fairly recently. At 40, I\'m in the best shape and health of my life.

    Every result is the outcome of a decision

    September 5, 2012 at 13:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Orly?

      Well said.

      September 5, 2012 at 13:49 | Report abuse |
    • LK

      Amen Sister. It takes work. Your story is very similar to mine. I was never obese, but overweight for sure. After losing 40 pounds before age 40 (because it only gets harder after that) and making my health and fitness top priority, I'm now in the best shape of my life at 41. I'm often mistaken for someone in my early 30's, my clothes fit great and I know I'm working daily to be the best 'Me' possible. It's not about perfection, but health. Everyone has the opportunity to change...no excuses.

      September 5, 2012 at 13:55 | Report abuse |
    • easye123

      I'll bet you're fine as hell in a bikini now... you and I ought to workout sometime ;-)

      September 5, 2012 at 14:09 | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      Oh man, forget about it, I stopped going to paid gyms because they would fill with skinny kids piddling around and flirting with each other, blocking the equipment while I was trying to finish high-intensity stagger workouts where the rest period for a lower-body muscle group set was an upper-body muscle group set and vice-versa. At my age and weight you have to work out HARD to make additional gains in muscle mass and keep the cardio strong, and the little dips wouldn't get out of the way; I wish they would choose somewhere else to make goo-goo eyes at each other and preen.

      September 5, 2012 at 15:32 | Report abuse |
    • Crocky

      Kudos!

      I started at a much heavier point than you did (and you should be commended for getting out of your stupor a LOT sooner than I did!), but I'm also 40, happy, healthy and fitter than I've ever been!

      I hear ya about people just kind of wandering around the gym too. I just shake my head a little and go back to my strength training, run or swim and don't worry about it too much. The only person I can do anything about is me.

      September 6, 2012 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
  7. SomeNameHere

    Only fat America would be interested in believing this stupid study. Stop the denial. Put down the burgers and eat right for goshsakes.

    September 5, 2012 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • A Different Perspective

      I don't mean to be rude, but only close-minded people like you would say something like that. Pick up a book and get an education...Please :)

      September 7, 2012 at 00:24 | Report abuse |
  8. Jorge

    Say what you will...it feels good to be able to run five miles, enjoy good BBQ and beer, bench 300 lb. and slap trash-talking skinny weasels unconscious on the first try. WOOHAAH.

    September 5, 2012 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Orly?

      Nonsensical comments are...well, nonsensical.

      September 5, 2012 at 16:33 | Report abuse |
  9. Frank in Pensacola, FL

    A long time ago the millitary studies to determine entrance standards of fitness and fatness showed that for men the two were closely related; for women, not so much.

    But, the point of the study here is distorted for popular attention by CNN (what a SURPRISE!). The people for whom there is not as much relationship between fitness and fatness are the EXCEPTIONS. Unfortunately, just as 80% of drivers think they have above average driving skill, most people will read the article headline and think that it means there isn't a relationship between fatness and fitness.

    But there is. Plenty of anecdotal and research study evidence to back it up. And, whether you ramp up at the gym w/a 30 pound backpack when you exercise or with 30 pounds of fat, you can still GET fitter. Just remember that for most folks carrying that fat has risk: diabetes, joint injury, sleep apnea, back/hip/knee/foot pain, etc.

    September 5, 2012 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Kallista

    No matter if you want to lose weight or just make healthier food choices; look up Joel Fuhrman`s book Eat To Live on Amazon. It`s the best book I ever read on nutrition.

    September 5, 2012 at 16:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. MayV

    I'm obese. I'm 39% fat with a BMI of 32. I work out–hard–8 to 10 hours a week. I eat 1200 healthy, very low-fat, vegetarian, low-to-no cholesterol, very-sugar-limited, high-protein calories a day. I just had a fitness evaluation done two weeks ago, as I do several times a year. I scored above-average to excellent in all areas except abdominal strength, where I was only average. My blood pressure is 110/75 and my resting heart rate is 65 bpm. I do not have high cholesterol and my fasting blood sugar is actually a little on the low normal side. I've spent thousands of dollars on personal trainers, nutritionists and visits to endocrinologists and one bariatric specialist. All the doctors agree I'm just fine. I'm just not skinny or pretty and likely never will be.

    Don't give me a hard time about being fat and ugly. I'm married to someone who is a healthy weight but not grossed out by mine. And he loves me.

    It's so easy to judge people based on looks, but trust me, some of us really are just fine, even we do not embody the commercially manufactured visual beauty ideal.

    Frankly, I would rather be sick and have a thin, a rock-hard muscle body, than be super-healthy (as I am) but socially unacceptable given my body's appearance. Nobody takes you seriously in America if you aren't built like Keira Knightly. I think that's sad, but yeah, I'd rather be sick and skinny than fat and healthy. Unfortunately, I'm really healthy and strong but it doesn't matter. Nobody judges us based on our health, only on our looks.

    September 5, 2012 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • tcc

      "Nobody takes you seriously in America if you aren't built like Keira Knightly." How does that saying go, "better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you a fool, than to open it and prove them right"? What a disturbingly revealing peek into your psyche. Keep believing it's your physique that's holding you back. I don't know if Keira Knightly is fit or not, but I can tell you her body isn't my idea of perfection, not by far. And to insinuate that you cannot be taken seriously in this country unless you look like that, is patently absurd.

      September 6, 2012 at 09:53 | Report abuse |
    • MayV

      I am actually very successful in my chosen career. My body size doesn't hold me back, it just makes me sad and frustrated. Read all of the comments above, though. You will see that people shaped like me are deeply reviled and ridiculed in American culture, and those prejudices run deep in the daily current of life. Read those comments–nobody is talking about how great it is that heavy people can be fit; they are only discussing how it doesn't matter because fat people are fat and therefore irrelevant.

      September 7, 2012 at 08:41 | Report abuse |
  12. Joe

    Makes sense to me. Lugging all that fat around is exercise in itself. I had a buddy in college who was 450lbs. and rarely exercised, but he could pick my 200 lb. body up and throw me across the room. It's like lifting weights, just a little more permanent.

    September 5, 2012 at 19:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Jaina

    You *can* also be a smoker and fit or an alcoholic and fit. But it sure doesn't help.

    September 5, 2012 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jim86

      and an alcoholic too!

      September 6, 2012 at 08:28 | Report abuse |
  14. sinsational

    Finally something good to hear. I mean i have a big belly and was kicked out of the Air Force because of my waist line which is one part of the test. Yet I can do more pushups, situps and run faster than ppl skinnier but they stay in because they say ppl skinnier are healther. Yet I have never been injured or having any diseases like diabetes or whatever while other military personel or their family is the ones driving up the bill.

    September 5, 2012 at 21:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Osama

      phe4nomenal! Hab sowas noch nie zu Gesicht bekommen. Sieht aber stark aus, voraellm mit den Wolken sie so seitlich abgehen sieht aus wie ein weidfer Feuerball

      November 16, 2012 at 01:11 | Report abuse |
  15. miscreantsall

    Sorry, not buyin it!

    Fat is NOT healthy and cannot be healthy.

    And if fat could be healthy by the very slightest…………….articles like this do major damage to MOST over weight folks!

    But hey, do what you want and keep eating yourself to death.

    September 6, 2012 at 03:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mdonln

      Lucky you MISCREANTSALL, you’re going to live forever! I love the way the minds of some people work (or, rather, don't work). If something is not within their realm of understanding or experience; or if they themselves are not capable of something then that something (whatever it is) must not be possible.

      If you just apply simple logic you’d know this must be true. Try to follow. Not all thin people are physically fit and healthy just because their frame is small; therefore, not all fat people are unhealthy and unfit just because their frames are large.

      The very idea of this obviously disturbs many people. To accept this concept as true they would have to let go of some of their long held beliefs, stereotypes and judgments about certain people and doing that would make them very uncomfortable. People like to think they can size up a situation (no pun intended) in a matter of seconds. To know their reasoning may be all wrong is not something they're willing or able to bear.

      September 6, 2012 at 09:36 | Report abuse |
  16. WhatNow

    One size does not fit all. We are a society that likes to lump people into groups, usually the lumping is based on appearance. DNA and lifestyle continue to tell us over and over that we are all different. So, why would it be so difficult to believe that some people can carry more weight than others yet remain healthy? This is not an excuse to live an unhealthy life. Why push your luck?

    September 6, 2012 at 09:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. keeprunningfatty

    I agree that this is possible. According to the scale, I'm just right at obese mark. However, all of my metabolic figures are completely normal and healthy. In fact, I've ran four half marathons and one marathon. I'm still considered overweight, but I guarentee I'm much healthier than many of my smaller friends who eat whatever they want and don't exercise reguarly. We're all trying to get at a healthy weight, and that IS the goal, but you can't just look at someone and say because they're a little fat, assume they are completely unhealthy. It's just not the case.

    September 6, 2012 at 10:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Todd

    So the story is saying everyone body is a bit different and they perform differently. Wow... You should have known that. But I guess the population is too stupid to realize that. Sometimes a being obese causes health problems... Sometimes health problems cause obesity. Some people can't be thin and healthy, they need to be a little more overweight to stay healthy. Some people burn fat all the time others need to be constantly vigilant.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. A Different Perspective

    It's terrible that society has such a large focus on how FAT you are as opposed to how FIT you are. It IS possible to be fit and still have some excess weight. It's because that's how we are genetically formed. Guess what, guys. Not everyone is the same. When people use the term "big-boned" that doesn't literally mean that your bones are bigger! Please check out "Health at Every Size". It's great! :) We can no more assume that a person is fat and is lazy/out of shape than assuming that a skinny person is active/in shape! I have tons of friends who are skinny and they never work out. Food for thought :)

    September 7, 2012 at 00:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Orly?

      "Fit" and "healthy" are not really the same thing. The study seems to suggest that you can be metabolically healthy despite being overweight. However, being FAT does indeed set you back in terms of being physically FIT. The excess adipose tissue literally diminishes your performance in any physical exercise you can do.

      Oh and "skinny" is a term for people with low muscle mass (people who are practically SKIN and bones). It's not a word that encompasses everyone who isn't overweight/obese, though it seems to be used as such by anyone who is overweight/obese. Obviously skinny people aren't necessarily fit. In fact, most of them are pretty out of shape. Despite what overweight people might think, the point isn't to whittle yourself down do your skeleton. That's almost as unattractive as carrying an extra person's weight in lard.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:57 | Report abuse |
    • A Different Perspective

      If you look up the word "fit" in the dictionary, it's meaning is "in good health". So, I would disagree with you that healthy and fit are not really the same thing. Skinny is a synonym of thin. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to agree with my general stance on this subject, but your argument is I'm not using words to your liking. Thank you for your input.

      September 12, 2012 at 21:27 | Report abuse |
  20. Dr Olu Bamgbade

    This original study showed that a better cardiorespiratory fitness will make people healthier regardless of their weight: really interesting report. The study methodology appears rigorous and reliable: the results seem valid.

    September 7, 2012 at 07:48 | Report abuse | Reply
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  22. Mike

    Covert Bailey had this issue covered years ago...

    September 8, 2012 at 08:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Former Fatty

    Yes you can be fat and not have an related health issues. But chances are if you keep it up, you will develop some of those problems. And even having just on of those problems is bad. Chances are the majority of the "metabolically healthy" obese subjects were relatively young. I need to see the age adjustments on study. Being overweight and especially obese is a major health risk. Even though you may be metabolically healthy at the time, there is a very high chance you will develop one of the many obesity related diseases at the top of the US mortality list.

    Any overweight/obese person that thinks they are just as healthy as someone at a healthy weight is in complete denial. While it is difficult for most people to be healthy, it is almost always doable with some hard work and determination.

    Of course ultimately it is up to the individual to live a healthy lifestyle. We can't force someone to get thin, just like we can't stop someone from abusing alcohol or smoking.

    This study did nothing to show you can be Fat and Fit. Fit would refer to someone who is HEALTHY and they basically just defined "metabolically healthy" as people who weren't in out-of-control lack of health.

    September 12, 2012 at 22:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Wiki

    Hey Matze. Wahnsinn, das fcbertrifft jede Vorstellung von dem, was ich erwartet hab, ehrilch. Old Habit hat genau das, wovon wir schon einmal gesprochen haben : Es macht das Gesehene zu einem Erlebnis.

    November 16, 2012 at 00:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. seoweb

    Fitness and Health Tips for lazy girls
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    August 20, 2013 at 08:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. hijackthemic

    One bull**** study and yup, we can all be fat and never suffer the terrible health consequences for it. That's how life really works after all!

    April 2, 2014 at 18:12 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.