TORONTO – Being fat is not necessarily a bad thing, a study out of York University in Toronto finds.
Obese people who are otherwise healthy live just as long as their slim counterparts, and are less likely to die of cardiovascular causes, the study found.
“Our findings challenge the idea that all obese individuals need to lose weight,” said lead author Jennifer Kuk, assistant professor in York’s School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health.
Kuk said it’s possible that trying – and failing – to lose weight may be more detrimental than simply staying at an elevated body weight and engaging in a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity and a balanced diet including fruits and vegetables.
Kuk’s team looked at 6,000 obese Americans over a 16-year span, comparing their mortality risk with that of lean individuals. They found that obese individuals who had no (or only mild) physical, psychological or physiological impairments had a higher body weight in early adulthood, were happier with this higher body weight, and had attempted to lose weight less frequently during their lives. However, these individuals were also more likely to be physically active and consume a healthy diet.
The study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism