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Obesity paradox

Study claims obesity paradox is a myth

Investigators found that compared with metabolically healthy normal-weight individuals, obese persons are at increased risk for adverse long-term outcomes even in the absence of metabolic abnormalities

The obesity paradox is a myth as research suggests that there is no healthy pattern of increased weight. Investigators found that compared with metabolically healthy normal-weight individuals, obese persons are at increased risk for adverse long-term outcomes even in the absence of metabolic abnormalities, which indicates that there is no healthy pattern of increased weight.

“This really casts doubt on the existence of healthy obesity,” concluded lead study author, Dr Ravi Retnakaran from Mount Sinai Hospital. “This data is suggesting that both patients who are obese who are metabolically unhealthy and patients who are obese who are metabolically healthy are both at increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, such that benign obesity may indeed be a myth."

{{Are Metabolically Healthy Overweight and Obesity Benign Conditions?: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.||The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, sought to determine the effect of metabolic status on all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events in normal-weight, overweight, and obese persons.

The researchers from Mount Sinai Hospital, Toront, Canada, identified eight studies that evaluated all-cause mortality or cardiovascular events (or both) and clinical characteristics of six patient groups defined by BMI category (normal weight/overweight/obesity) and metabolic status (healthy/unhealthy), as defined by the presence or absence of components of the metabolic syndrome by Adult Treatment Panel III or International Diabetes Federation criteria.

They reported that metabolically healthy obese individuals (relative risk [RR], 1.24; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.55) had increased risk for events compared with metabolically healthy normal-weight individuals when only studies with ten or more years of follow-up were considered. All metabolically unhealthy groups had a similarly elevated risk: normal weight (RR, 3.14; CI, 2.36 to 3.93), overweight (RR, 2.70; CI, 2.08 to 3.30), and obese (RR, 2.65; CI, 2.18 to 3.12).

Proponents of the obesity paradox claim that being overweight can confer health benefits in some areas, however this latest study has concluded that excess fat still carries health risks even when cholesterol, blood pressure and sugar levels are normal.

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