If you’re clinging to the hope that hitting the gym or the odd run makes up for being overweight, it’s time to think again.
Because there’s no such thing as being fat and fit, a major study has found.
Even if you exercise, researchers say it is impossible to be overweight or obese without increasing the risk of heart disease.
The University of Glasgow assessed the BMI and body fat of 300,000 middle-aged Britons in relation to cardiovascular disease (CVD).
In every measurement, they found the risk of illnesses such as heart attack and stroke increased the fatter a person was.
The findings go against previous studies that suggest carrying too much weight is not necessarily a sign of ill health. Last year, Dutch researchers claimed people were able to wipe out the dangers of obesity if they were active for at least four hours a day.
But Dr Stamatina Iliodromiti, clinical lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology at Glasgow University, dismissed such studies as being too focused on BMI alone.
When it came to BMI, her study found a 13 per cent greater CVD risk for every 5.2 points higher it was for women and 4.3 for men. Heart attack and stroke danger also increased in line with waistline. Starting from size 12 (29in waist), a woman’s CVD risk soared 16 per cent for every two dress sizes up. And men saw the danger jump 10 per cent for every 4.5in they piled on their waistlines above the 32in mark.
Other measures of obesity, including waist-to-hip and waist-to-height ratios and body fat mass, showed similar patterns.
The UK is the fattest nation in western Europe, with two-thirds of adults classed as overweight.
Dr Iliodromiti suggested the research, published in the European Heart Journal, should put an end to the ‘fat but fit’ debate. She said: ‘This is the largest study that provides evidence against the obesity paradox in healthy people. The message is that if you’re obese or overweight, losing some definitely lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke.’
Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, which part-funded the study, agreed – saying the findings proved there was ‘no such thing as healthy obesity’.
SOURCE: Daily Mail