You all have probably already have heard of the term "healthy obesity". In case you haven't, healthy obesity is defined as "a term used for individuals who are overweight or obese but have no indications of health issues, such as increased blood glucose, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol levels" (Healthline).
In an article in Endocrine Today, research done by Frederic Ho from the Institute of Health and Well Being at the University of Glascow, Scotland showed that that even if your cardio metabolic health markers are within recommendations, obesity still puts you at cardiac risk. Frederick Ho, PhD states that metabolic healthy obesity is a misleading label and should be avoided.
What are these health markers that we are talking about? Well we’re talking about blood pressure, C-reactive protein, tryglicerides, LDL, HDL and A1C and those are all used to compute metabolic health. In the current study the term of metabolically healthy obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 and then having 4 out of 6 of those metabolic markers. The study participants were divided between metabolic healthy non-obese, metabolically healthy obese, metabolically unhealthy without obesity, and metabolically unhealthy with obesity.
So basically in the end the metabolically healthy obese group was still at a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, myocardial infarctions (heart attack), stroke, heart failure, respiratory disease and COPD compared to metabolically healthy, non obese participants. And so what this does is kind of throws a wrench in the thought that no matter how big you are if you are metabolically heart healthy as far as the lab work goes, then you're good to go. This is telling you it’s not.
We need to work on obesity in general and it doesn’t matter what the markers say. The cumulative effect of all of this is that many obese patients will eventually experience complications even with having healthy blood work. The definition of metabolically healthy obesity will have to use different criteria on obese people. This is very important because over 30% of Americans right now are obese!
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