New study dismisses “healthy but fat” concept

Overweight obesity shorter heavierIllustration.Photo: Pixabay

After investigating data from nearly 300,000 people,British scientists have criticized claims that fat may have a protective effect against heart disease.


Although it has long been common knowledge that obesity increase the risk of illnesses, some researchers have recently sown doubt about this by claiming that
obesity does not really increase the rate of death, especially not for the elderly. Some studies have even suggested that obesity protects against disease, an assertion called the ‘’obesity paradox’’.

But a new study published in the ‘European Heart Journal’ rejects the existence of such a paradox. The researchers have seen 296,535 people aged between 40 and 69 who signed up for a health survey in the period 2006-2010. The data set was available until 2015.

“Any public misunderstanding about a potential protective effect from fat on cardiovascular risk should be contested,”said one of the researchers behind the ‘Stamatina Iliodromiti’ study at the University of Glasgow.

Examined context

The researchers have looked at the BMI value of the subjects in the survey, and examined whether there is a connection between this and who had cardiovascular disease.

The World Health Organization (WHO) considers people with a BMI of 25 or more as overweight, while it is considered obesity if the BMI exceeds 30.

The researchers found that the risk of heart disease increased when the BMI increased over 22-23.

“The risk of cardiovascular disease increased by 13% for each increase of 5.2 in BMI in women and 4.3 in men,” reported the researchers in a press release summarizing the study.

Gastric fat increases the risk

The risk of cardiovascular disease was the least for people with a BMI of between 22 and 23.

The researchers also confirmed that disease risk increased the more fat people had around their waist.

‘’The less fat, especially on the stomach, the less is the risk of heart disease in the future’’, they concluded.


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