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The ‘fat but fit’ balloon has been burst

Like me, you may have seen health programmes on TV where there has been a person talking about the health dangers of obesity (usually a doctor) and the other side of the argument is represented by someone who argues that there is no evidence that obesity, of itself, increases mortality (risk of death), i.e. arguing that you can be ‘fat but fit’.

Well, the data is now available to show that this is not the case. Research undertaken at the University of Birmingham and based on 20 years worth of data on millions of patients provides evidence that obesity does increase your risk of death.

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Those conducting the study looked at people who had a BMI over 30 at the start of the study and who had no evidence of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes at that point. So, they were metabolically healthy despite being obese. The research found that these people had an increased risk of heart disease, strokes and heart failure than people of a healthy weight.

This is an important development because it means that just being obese puts you at higher risk, even if your metabolic indicators are in the normal range.

Fat but fit is one of those old myths that intuitively never seemed quite right. Now we have the evidence to prove it. 

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