New Study: "Heavy and Healthy" isn't Possible

Contrary to other short-term studies, a new report says that obese people who are otherwise healthy are still more at risk when it comes to heart problems. Researchers from Canada collected the results of eight other studies that examined normal weight, overweight, and obese people over periods of time that ranged from three to thirty years. 

The studies followed a combined 61,000 people, and in the short-run, obese people didn't seem to be more at risk; however, in studies that covered ten years or more, obese people were 24% more likely to have health issues related to the heart. The characteristics of this report and the studies that it used are enough to consider the research scientifically dependable. 

Dr. Bernard Zinman, who worked on the study, says that "It was popular to say, well, maybe we shouldn't worry about these ("healthy" obese) people...[but] this kind of myth was propagated by looking at individuals and really not following the cohort for long enough." 

As of 2012, about 35% of the U.S. population was obese. The problem has been labeled as an epidemic, and it is a clear threat to American health concerns. The research in this study could help by dispersing the idea that obesity can somhow facilitate any kind of healthy lifestyle. This could inspire people to do something about the problem and attend to the issue of obesity. 



I found your blog to be very insightful considering it pointed out the misconception that you can be overweigh and healthy. A good example to look at when trying to gain a better understanding of this situation is The Biggest Loser. On this show, the obese competitors are to be focused on Diet and Exercise in order to lose weight. Obese people think that as long as they're eating right they will at least be healthy. However, a lot of people do not understand how important exercise is to ones health. When it comes to losing weight, many obese people look to surgery, diet pills, and starvation. Even when they're skinny, they aren't healthy. Exercise not only burns fat and builds muscle, but it also strengthens the heart. Because these obese individuals aren't working out, they aren't strengthening the heart. By working out, obese people can eliminate the fear of heart disease and diabetes, as well as shed some pounds.

I have never heard that obese people could be healthy but I could see why some people say this. I think that everything in this post makes sense regarding the fact that in the long run obesity will affect health. I am a very skinny person and I wish this was the same way for skinny people (skinny people were always healthy) but this isn't true. There are many skinny people who have heart problems. I think that this is something that depends more on the individual. There might be people that are heavier due to genetics but exercise and be perfectly healthy.

The idea that obese people could be healthy at the same time that they are carrying so much weight is something I have never heard of before. But the facts that you have laid out do make sense such as long term obesity is not a good thing and that people that are obese for a long time are more likely to have a severe health issue. It is just not a good idea to be carrying so much extra weight because you run the risk of having bad health and could reduce the length of a persons' life.

The term obese is kind of a grey area. Some people who are considered obese may actually not look it or be restricted like others. For example, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that if you are 5'9 and weigh 203 pounds or more, you are considered to be obese. But there are some definite exceptions. For example Trent Richardson, running back for the Indianapolis Colts, stands 5'9 and nearly 230 pounds. Richardson also runs a 4.5 40-yard-dash and his teammates claim that he can bench press 475 pounds with ease. I highly doubt that Trent Richardson should be classified as obese. Until a proven formula is created, I think the label of obese should be irrelevant. So the statistics going along with the amount of "obese" people currently living in the United States are undoubtedly skewed.

I absolutely believe that overweight people can not be healthy. It takes a certain lifestyle to get to that point, and a healthy diet with even moderate exercise would never allow the body to reach that level of obesity. I think the whole idea that overweight people can be healthy is false, unless there is a medical condition that physically prevents the body from losing weight, which is not healthy either, actually. In my opinion, it's just a fact created by people to make the overweight feel more comfortable in their shoes. Average-weight people are the ones that should not worry about nonexistent weight loss when it comes to diet and exercise. If you are a perfectly normal weight and are attempting to slim down, just because you are not losing weight does not mean you are not healthy. You are probably at your body's "happiest" and most ideal weight. Here is a calculator that can aid you in finding the perfect body weight for your shape and size:

Thanks for all of your comments! I think that obesity is a huge (excuse the pun) problem in the U.S., and all of your insights are helpful contributers to the discussion. The White House, and particulary the First Lady, has pledged to attack the issue of obesity, and here is one of their posts on the matter on the White House website:

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