Your weight can have a big impact on your cardiovascular disease risk. So what about if you're fat but fit?
New research has revealed that carrying extra weight can increase your risk of heart attack by up to 28% even if you're otherwise healthy - meaning healthy blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
These new findings support a body of evidence that suggests that being ‘fat but fit' is a myth and that you should aim to maintain a body weight in a healthy range. Read on for the full scoop on the latest research.
Storing too much fat in your body is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease…
It’s well established that storing too much fat
in your body boosts your risk of cardiovascular disease. Storing too much fat is linked to a number of metabolic changes, including high blood sugar
, increased blood pressure
and altered cholesterol
levels, which can lead to poor health and chronic disease.
However, previous research has uncovered a subset of overweight
people who appear to have a clean bill of health, leading them to be classified as ‘metabolically healthy obese’ in medical literature or ‘fat but fit’ in simple terms.
Now, in the largest study of its kind to date conducted by researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge has revealed that overweight
people are still at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease even if they appear to lack the adverse health effects of excess weight.
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New research reveals that fat but fit people are still up to 28% more likely to have a heart attack
To reach these findings, the researchers used data from more than half a million people in 10 European countries taken from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer
and Nutrition (EPIC). They found that people who carry excess weight yet have a healthy metabolic profile still have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
More specifically, the researchers found that fat but fit people are still up to 28% more likely to have a heart attack. The full findings were published in the European Heart Journal
“Our findings suggest that if a patient is overweight or obese, all efforts should be made to help them get back to a healthy weight, regardless of other factors. Even if their blood pressure
, blood sugar
appear within the normal range, excess weight is still a risk factor,” said lead author Dr Camille Lassale from Imperial’s School of Public Health who’s now based at University College London.
The bottom line? If you’re fat, it doesn’t matter if you’re otherwise healthy – you still have a higher risk for cardiovascular disease.