Study Questions "Fat But Fit" Notion
Researchers in Sweden have all but dismissed the notion that “fat but fit” is a healthy condition – finding that obese men with a high aerobic fitness level were still at a higher risk of death than men of a normal weight–even those at a lower fitness level.
They rated participants’ aerobic fitness by asking them to cycle until they had to stop due to fatigue, and assessed causes of death using national registers.
During a follow-up period of 29 years, results showed that increased aerobic fitness was linked to a decreased risk of early death. However, although aerobic fitness was associated with a reduced risk of death in both normal-weight and overweight individuals, these benefits were clearly lower in obese individuals.
Men with a normal weight had less risk of death than obese participants even if their fitness levels were lower, showing a 30 percent lower risk of early death.
Not surprisingly, there were no significant health benefits at all in those participants who were in the extreme obese category.
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