There is an opinion that going in for sports is beneficial for people of any weight. Scientists from the University of Glasgow, UK, deny this myth. They came to the conclusion that obese people who exercise regularly still have an increased risk for diabetes, stroke, heart and respiratory disease.
The authors of the work note that even if you feel good, have an active lifestyle, but are overweight – your health is at risk!
As a part of the new work, experts studied the state of health of people who are obese but have a healthy metabolic profile (i.e., they don’t have metabolic diseases, e.g., diabetes). Such a combination of factors is called metabolically healthy obesity (MHO). People with MHO have a body mass index of 30 or higher, but they don’t suffer from systemic inflammation, bad blood fats, or insulin problems.
A total of 381 363 people took part in the study. Some of them had normal weight, others were obese. All volunteers were divided into four groups: metabolically healthy people with obesity (MHO), metabolically unhealthy people with obesity (MUO), metabolically healthy people without obesity (MHN), metabolically unhealthy people without obesity (MUN).
The team found that MHO people were usually younger, watched less TV, were more educated, and ate more red and processed meat compared to the people of the MUO group.
However, MHO patients were 4.3 times more likely to develop type-2 diabetes, 18% more likely to develop a heart attack or stroke, and 76% more likely to develop heart failure compared to the metabolically healthy participants without obesity (MHN). Metabolically healthy obesity was also followed by an increase in risks of respiratory disease – by 28% and chronic obstructive lung disease – by 19%.
It’s interesting that compared to metabolically unhealthy people without obesity, those who were healthy but overweight were 28% more likely to experience heart failure.
“People with metabolically healthy obesity are not ‘healthy’ because they have a higher risk of heart attack and stroke, heart failure and respiratory disease compared to people without obesity who have a normal metabolic profile,” the researchers concluded. “Weight management is beneficial for all obese people, regardless of their metabolic profile. In clinical medicine, the term ‘metabolically healthy obesity should be avoided since it is misleading.”