Healthy obesity is a myth that can be dangerous!
The idea that you can be healthy and obese may not be so true But a new study shows that the idea may be quite misleading, since over time, healthy obesity often devolves into unhealthy obesity, and the markers of health naturally worsen over time.
For some time, the myth has become popular enough to be both obese and healthy. However, such people can rarely be found in reality, and research confirming this thesis is missing. The term „metabolically healthy obesity” refers to obese people who do not show symptoms of diseases such as diabetes or hypertension. But can you really talk about healthy obesity?
There are some voices about the harmful use of the term „healthy obesity”, while calling for a complete abstention from its use. Determination of healthy obesity is problematic, because it can induce people with a BMI above 30 to abuse it and accept their obesity, instead of taking any action to change the style of life and loss of extra kilograms. Obviously, obese people prefer to be perceived as healthy rather than having health problems. If they can be considered healthy, why change something?
It is worth noting that several studies have shown that you can be healthily obese, but such people are exceptions, not the confirmation of the rule. In addition, even if they do not have existing health problems, they are much more likely to develop illnesses such as chronic kidney disease and type 2 diabetes.
„In other words, for most people, healthy obesity is just a phase that will likely give way to unhealthy obesity in the future.”
Also, do not transfer what some athletes look like, who can really have high weight and too big BMI, but who train much more, have much more muscle mass and eat a lot better than the average obese person. BMI (body mass index) is calculated based on two factors – body mass and height. This means that a person who has more muscle mass, but weighs the same as another person with more fat, would have the same BMI. Therefore, you can not unambiguously compare the health of people only considering their BMI, because it will be a completely unreliable comparison.
What’s more, overweight people (according to the BMI index) who are healthy are younger people leading a lifestyle based on a large amount of physical activity and healthy diets, having less fat in the waist area and less visceral fat (fat surrounding internal organs) , also called visceral fat), than people who have experienced the development of health problems.
As we can see, the BMI index takes into account only the weight, not taking into account the amount of muscle tissue. We should not be surprised, therefore, that the level of cardio-metabolic risk factors such as high blood pressure and high fasting glucose levels may be worse in people with normal body mass (according to BMI) because they have more body fat and less muscle, and better in people according to this obese index, which in fact weigh a lot, but this weight is due to the large muscle mass. This comparison, however, is misleading.
The fact is that obesity is detrimental to your overall health. Using the term „healthy obesity” is misleading and can be harmful, because it creates an excuse for people who really should change their lifestyle in order to protect themselves against diseases.
Certainly obesity and overweight should not be defined based solely on BMI. The belt circumference will be a much better indicator. It has been shown that people with high fat around the waist are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and heart disease. In the case of women, the waist circumference should not be greater than 35 inches, and in the case of men it should not exceed 40 inches. If your waist circumference is higher, you run the risk of metabolic diseases.
The takeaway message may be that for most people, weight loss really is the best bet: Even though markers may look good now, they may not be in 10 or 20 years’ time. A small subset of people may be obese into old age, but for the majority, obesity is linked to greater risk of a number of chronic diseases and mortality over the long term.