‘Healthy’ obesity just a phase


7 Jan 2015

Most obese people become less healthy over time finds research spanning 20 years. The study, which defined ‘healthy obese’ as obesity without the presence of metabolic risk factors, found that just over half of the 2,500 men and women participants became ‘unhealthy’ obese over the period of the study while just 11 percent became ‘healthy’ non-obese.

Thirty-eight percent remained in the ‘healthy’ obese category and 6 percent of the ‘healthy non-obese’ tipped into the ‘unhealthy obese’ category, the researchers from the University College of London reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 

“Healthy obese adults were also much more likely to become unhealthy obese than healthy or unhealthy non-obese adults, indicating that healthy obesity is a high risk state with serious implications for disease risk,” said lead author Joshua Bell.

“Healthy obesity is only valid if it is stable over time, and our results indicate that it is often just a phase. All types of obesity warrant treatment, even those which appear to be healthy,” he added.

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