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“fat but fit”   really?



Mohamed Hassan – Giza/Egypt – Pixabay

Kramer and colleagues conclude that being metabolically unhealthy at any weight confers health risks, and that normal weight does not necessarily indicate cardio-metabolic health.  These findings cast doubt on the existence of metabolically healthy obesity…..   Our results do not support this concept of ‘benign obesity’ and demonstrate that there is no ‘healthy’ pattern of obesity”  From an editorial and study that were both published in the December 3 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, “Are Metabolically Healthy Overweight and Obesity Benign Conditions?: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

I’ll never forget it.  A number of years ago, I had a terribly obese patient who was going in for a major surgery.  This person told me that after their pre-surgery physical, their doctor had said that, “Sure you’re a bit overweight, but you are as healthy as a horse.  In fact there are now studies showing how carrying extra weight is actually good for you.”  Within a year or two, this person was dead —- of a heart attack.  It kind of reminds me of Chris Christie (the very overweight governor of New Jersey) telling the media to “shut up” because he believed himself to be “remarkably healthy” in spite of his undeniable weight problem.

If you Google, “Fat but Fit” you’ll get over 27,000,000 (that’s 27 million) hits.  Many, if not most of these articles talk about research that shows, “it’s not how much you weigh, but how healthy you are“.  And believe it or not, there are even those who, like I showed you above, say that carrying excess pounds is actually healthier than being normal weight.  New research is throwing water on this crazy idea.  But before we delve deeper into this topic, I think we need to address what large numbers of people in the medical community have been referring to as Metabolically Healthy Obesity or MHO for short (not to be confused with Metabolically Obese, Normal Weight — MONW — aka “Skinny Fat”).

Brand new scientific research from The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, and The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism shed some light on this particular topic.   Although no one has come up with any sort of “official” designation, some of the factors that seemed to best characterize MHO are…..

  • INSULIN RESISTANCE or lack thereof (people in the MHO category had four times the rate of Diabetes of those of normal weight.)

Despite what many experts have told us for the past number of years, it looks like the jig is up.  Some of this may be due to the NEW GUIDELINES ON OBESITY.  However, most of it is likely due to a recent spate of studies showing that excess non-lean body mass is a risk factor for early death, no matter the circumstances.  In fact, Salynn Boyles wrote earlier this week in MedPage Today that, “Metabolically healthy, obese people were found to have a long-term increased risk for death and cardiovascular events compared with their normal-weight counterparts, suggesting there is no such thing as benign obesity.  Metabolically healthy obese people have a long-term increased risk for death and cardiovascular events compared with their normal-weight counterparts, suggesting there is no such thing as benign obesity.

Dr Caroline Kramer (M.D. / Ph.D) of Mount Siani Hospital in Toronto Canada is the person who actually performed the above-mentioned research.  Mind you, she did not do any new research.  She simply re-analyzed 8 of the biggest studies ever done on this topic, this time accounting for several variables (her systematic review and meta-analysis involved over 60,000 people).  A same-issue editorial from researchers at the University of Colorado carried an identical message.  “Obesity is taking a toll on the health and well-being of Americans.  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.”  Just understand that none of these “POLITICAL RESOURCES” (HERE also) have been shown to be worth a flip at reversing, or for that matter, even preventing OBESITY


  • Nearly 400,000 Americans per year die as the direct result of complications associated with being overweight.
  • Obesity is associated with all sorts of Cardiovascular Risks including CHOLESTEROL ISSUES and TYPE II DIABETES.  “In 1990 about 11 million Americans had type-2 (adult onset) diabetes, a disease of insulin resistance that commonly coexists with obesity. Just nine years later the number was 16 million, or about 6 percent of all Americans. Then, from 1999 to 2003, we saw a 41-percent increase in diagnosed diabetes”  Jeff Schweitzer from his Huffington Post article called The Dangerous Myth of ‘Fat but Fit’.
  • Obesity causes CANCER.
  • SLEEP APNEA is more common in obese people.
  • HORMONAL PROBLEMS are more common in the obese as well
  • Each increase two pound increase in weight, increases your chances of developing DEGENERATIVE ARTHRITIS by about 10 percent.

If you want to get serious about WEIGHT LOSS, just click on the link and start reading.


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