June 25, 2014 · 4:00 AM
I’ll eat my hat if this dude doesn’t have metabolic syndrome
See details at MedPageToday.
Some studies suggest you can be healthy and long-lived while obese as long as you are “metabolically healthy.” That is, if you have normal blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and waist circumference. A new meta-analysis finds that isn’t the case: you’re still at higher risk for death or cardiovascular events if you’re obese and free of metabolic syndrome features.
“Our results do not support this concept of ‘benign obesity’ and demonstrate that there is no ‘healthy’ pattern of obesity,” Kramer and colleagues wrote. “Even within the same category of metabolic status (healthy or unhealthy) we show that certain cardiovascular risk factors (blood pressure, waist circumference, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, insulin resistance) progressively increase from normal weight to overweight to obese.”
Click for the scientific journal abstract.
This report does not directly address the “fat but fit” concept, whereby you can counteract some of the adverse health effects of obesity by being fit. By fit, I mean regularly exercising and achieving a decent level of capacity and tolerance for physical activity. Fat but fit still holds. In other words, if your choice is between being fat or physically fit, you’ll probably live longer and be healthier if you’re fit.
Steve Parker, M.D.
March 26, 2012 · 2:00 AM
Men live longer if they maintain or improve their fitness level over time, according to research out of the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas. Part of that improved longevity stems from reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease (e.g., heart attack and stroke).
Compared with men who lose fitness with aging, those who maintained their fitness had a 30% lower risk of death; those who improved their fitness had a 40% lower risk of death. Fitness was judged by performance on a maximal treadmill exercise stress test.
Body mass index over time didn’t have any effect on all-cause mortality but was linked to higher risk of cardiovascular death. The researchers, however, figured that losses in fitness were the more likely explanation for higher cardiovascular deaths. In other words, as men age, it’s more important to maintain or improve fitness than to lose excess body fat or avoid overweight.
Steve Parker, M.D.
Reference: Lee, Duck-chul, et al. Long-term effects of changes in cardiorespiratory fitness and bodly mass index on all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality in men. Circulation, 124 (2011): 2,483-2,490