There is no such thing as “Healthy Obesity”.

One of the most frustrating misconceptions I address on a weekly basis is notion of “healthy obesity”. I often have patients who come in to see me who say, “ I’m 25 kg overweight but I’m healthy.” Usually they have been sent in by their wives, boyfriends or best friends and they are in denial about the consequences of their weight. I also think the phrase “healthy at every size” is a misnomer which is overused and often applied to the wrong people.

Being overweight has significant risk factors

There is overwhelming evidence that suggests that being overweight is a significant risk factor for diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, despite being “metabolically healthy”. Three major studies over the past year have shown this. Published just this week, a 30 year study investigating the impact of sex on diabetes and cardiovascular disease followed 90,000 US women  and showed that obese woman were at higher risk of heart disease and metabolic diseases than their slimmer, metabolically healthy counterparts (Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology). This has similar conclusions to other studies, proving that being overweight is a risk factor no matter how healthy you are.

Another Lancet study, revealed that overweight and obese women who maintained their metabolically healthy obesity over 20 years have a 57% higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease compared with normal weight, metabolically healthy women. This is staggering!

weight loss strategies

Shulze who followed 3.5 million people and a study published last year in the Europen Heart Journal which had  18,000 people in their study, both reached a similar verdict.

Just losing 5% would make a positive impact on your health

We also have to consider the physical impacts too, not just the cardiovascular and metabolic risks. Being overweight puts significant risks to your joints, reduces your endurance and is a major risk factor in many cancers. Infact they say an 8% reduction in your weight, reduces the loading in your knees  by 30%. According to this study by Cefalu,  just by losing 5-10%of your weight, multiple medical conditions improve.

Looking at these figures,  highlights the importance of losing weight as just a loss of  5% of your weight  can already start to improve your diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke risk.  As the weight loss increases, so does the benefit to your health.

Make multiple small changes and sustain them

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as “healthy obesity”. Even small amounts of weight loss can have such a huge impact on your health. Try to work on the making ten small changes and sustaining them. Ten 1% changes has far more impact than one big 10% change. If you require any assistance with getting yourself back onto a healthy journey, have a look at our new online 6 week diet and exercise program: The Redefine Metabolic Program which is a step by step guide on how to eat and exercise for 6 weeks.

Treat your body well, and you will see the benefits metabolically and physically.


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