Keeping fit lowers the risk of a heart attack or stroke — even among very fat people.
Scientists say the benefits of exercise outweigh the dangers of obesity in the middle-aged and elderly.
They found overweight people who spent four hours a day cycling, walking to the shops or doing housework were at no greater risk of cardiovascular disease than active people with a normal weight.
But fatties who moved less — peaking at two hours a day — had up to 35 per cent higher chance of heart attack or stroke.
A Dutch team monitored 5,344 people, aged 55 to 97, over 15 years.
They monitored them for 15 years, during which time 16 per cent suffered a heart attack or stroke.
Researchers say slimming down may even be harmful.
Dr Klodian Dhana said: “Overweight and obesity is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and it is recommended to lose weight.
“But in the elderly this is slightly different because weight loss, especially unintentional, is associated with muscle loss and death.
“We do not refute the risk associated with obesity in the general population even though we did not find it in this older group.
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SOURCE: The Sun, Shaun Wooller