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There is strong research showing fat people can be healthy and fit

Joanne Ikeda, co-founder, Center for Weight and Health | November 3, 2009

The publicity about the obesity epidemic has convinced many people that being overweight or obese is unhealthy, and the only way to achieve health is to lose weight.  The problem is that long term weight loss is a very elusive goal for most people.  It is estimated that less than 5% of individuals who lose weight, are able to maintain that weight loss permanently.  The other 95% usually regain the weight, and far too often, they regain more than they originally lost.  So what is a health professional to do about this situation, especially when there is research showing that repeated weight cycling can increase risk of chronic disease?

Many health professionals are going beyond the scale to determine what kind of advice to offer to patients.  They are relying upon metabolic indicators to determine a person’s health status.  What are these metabolic indicators?  They are familiar to most of us as they include blood pressure; serum cholesterol, HDLs and LDLs; insulin resistance; fasting plasma glucose; and C-reactive protein levels.  These are considered the most accurate indicators of a person’s health status.   Doctors collect this information whenever they give an adult his or her annual medical check-up.

Interestingly, data from a cross-sectional sample of 5440 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey, found that half of overweight adults and almost one-third of obese adults were metabolically healthy.  Of course, that means that half of overweight and two thirds of obese adults were not healthy.  What does this tell us?  It tells us that health is possible for both obese and overweight adults, and that being fat does not automatically doom one to a shortened lifespan and increase risk of chronic disease.    In other words, it is possible to be fat and fit.  Of course that does not happen without effort.   Research published over the past 15 years indicates that those who are fat and fit practice healthy lifestyles.  They are physically active, eat a nutrient dense diet, and get enough sleep.   So, if you are one of those “larger” people who are worried about your health, focus on improving it by adopting a healthier lifestyle.  After making changes, ask your physcian to reevaluate your health to determine what improvements you have made in your metabolic fitness.   Studies show that your chances of improving your health are quite good.

Comments to “There is strong research showing fat people can be healthy and fit

  1. There are also a lot of slim people who are not healthy or fit. If you perform sufficient physical activities, you can still be fit even with excess body-weight.

  2. The relationship between excess body-weight and fitness varies from one individual to another. Some people seem to be able to handle more weight than others.

  3. Therefore, this simply means that the body wills set-up a new metabolic rate, which is a much slower process then the previous food burning rate. However, when we go on a diet the body will slowly burn the fat away so that can’t retain it any longer. Due to a slower metabolism the body will find it extremely difficult to burn the fat away so it is very important not to pursue a fad diet. As a matter of fact try sticking to a healthy food diet, indulge in a daily workout for about an hour or so that way you body’s metabolic rate will speed up so that you won’t put on any weight.

    • How many people dies with a “healthy” body… Here in Mexico there a aweful story about that.

      Perfectly “healthy” actor, yoga master, and just his colesterol in the sky blowed his heart 🙁

      Anyway… human body is a really complex machine

  4. Losing weight unhealthily can be counter productive. Diet control using starvation methods is not only ineffective but dangerous as well. Losing weight is not a priority but staying healthy is.

  5. This blog is really an interesting read particularly the comments from all the various users. It is true for many people to be fat and healthy and this am saying from experience.

    When i weighed 100kgs i had absolutely no problems with blood pressure or any health related issues. I later gained more weight and at 125kgs, the situation just changed. My energy levels just dropped, i would literally hear my hip joints adjusting to accommodate the new weight and i was getting tired walking even the shortest distance.

    I have lost weight now and as a nutrition adviser in my community, i would recommend anyone who is overweight or obese to lose weight. You might be fit and healthy but its just plain uncomfortable, in my view. I would advise easting well, raw fruits and vegetables daily, hydration by drinking plenty of water, regular detox with lemon, honey and cayenne paper and combining this with a regular workout routine, walking or jogging is a great start. My life has completely changed after losing weight and it feels so good.

    Thanks Michelle Hatwiko

  6. My Uncle has been noticeably overweight for most of his life, yet his medical exams always show that he is as healthy as can be. He eats well, lots of fruit and vegetables, he gets a fair amount of exercise at his work and is happy. So I would tend to believe that being overweight doesn’t necessarily mean that you are unhealthy. He is living proof of that for me.

  7. Hmm that was interesting to read, however I would still suggest overweight people to stick to eating well and live a healthy lifestyle, better safe than sorry! If that made any sense.


  8. Hi, this is a great article and one which touches my heart. I am a fat person yet I still see myself as fit. Thanks your looking into this issue.

  9. I totally agree, overweight does necessarily mean unhealthy. I think it is more a persons activity level, then their weight. However there are health issues related to being overweight just as there is to being underweight.

  10. I’ve been overweight all my life, and believe that weight and health are not as linked as some believe, I was quite fit at 280lbs, my Doctor seemed disappointed that I didn’t have high blood pressure or any other ailments. Kind of weird.

    • It often takes years for research findings to be widely disseminated to health professionals. It takes even longer for the findings to be put into practice. The “Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults: The Evidence Report” was published over 10 years ago in 1998. A tremendous amount of research on body weight and health has been done since then. However, doctors are still following these out-of-date guidelines based on old research. It is obviously time for an up-date! I often wonder if they aren’t waiting for the “old guard,” who developed these guidelines to retire so they can move ahead. If you look up information about the experts who developed the 1998 guidelines, you will find that they are older males, many of whom have been paid consultants to the diet industry. I think a more diverse group of experts with no ties to the diet industry should develop the next set of guidelines.

  11. There is nothing new here and i just want to say that you have to be prepared yourself before trying to lose weight. it is not an easy task to lose weight but it also not impossible to do. If you stick to a good diet plan with a regular exercise then you can achieve anything.

  12. Thanks for the ideas you reveal through your blog. In addition, a lot of young women that become pregnant never even aim to get health insurance coverage because they worry they would not qualify. Although many states at this point require that insurers give coverage irrespective of the pre-existing conditions. Fees on all these guaranteed options are usually bigger, but when considering the high cost of health care bills it may be a safer strategy to use to protect your current financial potential.

  13. I agree that this is a whole new look at weight loss and being healthy. As the ad says about a well known cholesterol reducing pill that even if you go to gym and stay fit does not mean that your cholesterol is low.. what does matter is how “fit” are you? meaning your lifestyle.. than watching calories closely..


  14. It’s true that fat people can be fit for years. But, being a professional dietician I allways advice people to adopt a raw food lifestyle. It’s very easy to start that by finding the right raw food books, read them carefully and check which recipes fits your taste. That way you’ll not only loose weight fast but even feel more energetic within days!

  15. If you are over weight it does not mean you are unhealthy but it does for sure mean your body is not working as efficiantly as it should be. I THINK We all need to know that to be over weight is to be unhealthy because fat itself is accumualted through eating to much of the wrong kind of food.

  16. This was interesting news. I am not entirely sure what a statement like this would do to people who are overweight. Most of them take steps to do something about their weight simply because they know they are in an unhealthy state. But when there is comfort that they can be overweight and healthy, they may actually take a step back and even let go. Some busy people who are struggling to keep their weight in check may even let go completely, knowing that they can be fat and still healthy. They may put their weight management on hold and decide to come back to it later. This may be a big mistake as most people will not come back to it. The findings of the study show that it is possible but I am not entirely sure that this can hold true for long term health. There are adverse side effects of being overweight. I really look forward to hearing the views of an esteemed expert like you, on this matter.


  17. I think the BMI scale is one of the most outdated methods of accessing weight. Of course people can have extra bodyweight yet still be fit.


  18. There is no reason that a fat person can never become sexy, it is just a matter of mind setting that you are aiming to get the weight you desired. Thanks for sharing this. I myself can relate your topic.

  19. We all know there are hidden agendas with these lobbyist. The junk food industry wants to say junk foods are so you keep buying. The medical industry wants the same thing so you stay on medicine until you die. Everyone is out to make money on this.

  20. I believe that a healthy diet should become a school subject. It’s actually quite easy to teach a person to maintain a healthy diet. Today, it’s easy to make your food both – healthy and tasty, such as fruit and vegetable salads, fish and chicken with sauces, and so on.

  21. Very interesting indeed, I know more than a handful of friends who would love to read this article…Personally, I think that as long as you eat a well balanced diet, and take regular exercise to burn some calories, then no matter how heavy the person, they can still live a healthy life.

  22. I think the BMI scale is one of the most outdated methods of accessing weight. Of course people can have extra bodyweight yet still be fit.

  23. I’m not a health professional, but I know from personal experience: losing weight in a healthy way can result in a better health. I have psoriasis (genetic condition that manifests on the skin, nails, and scalp), so when I become healthy my condition shows it – it improves visually. I don’t even have to take any metabolic tests 🙂 The best way for me to lose weight healthy was by giving up the “artificial” foods, sticking to weight-watcher type of diet, and drinking plenty of water each day. Thank you!

  24. Out of the 5440 participants I wonder how much overweight they were, there is a different between being 20 pounds overweight and 120 pounds overweight.

  25. It is entirely reasonable to suggest that overweight people can be healthy because “healthy” surely has to not only take into account the mental state but arguably overrides it. If you know who you really really are, quite regardless of weight, caste, creed, race, religion or any other grouping you care to mention, then you are indeed healthy.

  26. That’s why science is so interesting. What is fact at some point, might be totally wrong in next moment…Anyway, this is something new for me anyway…:)

  27. I believe these studies are incorrect and do not accurately measure health. Measurements and criteria change all the time. As Americans become more sedentary, criteria is relaxed/modified. Common sense should prevail, but does not always.

    There are proven methods for achieving the quickest way to lose belly fat, one just has to follow them.

  28. All fat is not made equal. Visceral fat (fat that forms around your internal organs) is deadly and has been connected to all kinds of health related issues. On the other end of the spectrum, subcutaneous fat sits between your skin and your muscles and may actually have the opposite effect of visceral fat in moderation.

  29. Mr. Colter’s emotional counseling based health program is very interesting and would be beneficial to those who want to live a healthier life, but does not want to slim down.

  30. Very interesting topic.

    Glad you provided some citations in the comments. Although my first urge is to disagree with you I’m going to review some of the research instead of shooting from the hip. Great post as this should provoke people from both sides to respond!


  31. Overweight people are rightly concerned that certain forms of exercise (walking, running) will be harder on their knee and hip joints than would be the case with thinner people. This is not an issue with swimming, but often obese people are embarrassed to be seen in a bathing suit. So being overweight can be an indirect cause of lack of fitness because larger people feel they have fewer choices for exercise.

    Alas, schoolchildren are getting less opportunity to build healthy exercise habits as schools cut PE and recess to cram students full of facts for “No Child Left Behind” tests.

  32. Everyone will deny it, but I suspect a strong correlation between those who are dedicated to eradicating obesity in our lifetime, and those who consider fat people unsightly. It is hard to find truly objective research on the subject. Joanne has listed some of it, and I am grateful that any exists at all. If all we fund is research looking for a marketable “cure” for obesity, we will not do much research in finding out what is really going on. It is good news that metabolic fitness, not weight or BMI (a bogus number if there ever was one) may be a better predictor of health and mortality. I don’t think this will be of much interest to the media, however. Most advertisers are dedicated to selling stuff to people who are desperate to be smaller, at all costs. In time for their wedding, if possible.

    Bill Fabrey
    Council on Size & Weight Discrimination
    Mt Marion, NY

    • I think your right that people who are over weight can be somewhat healthy, but what about the emotional affects on that person?

    • Everything depends on the healthy life style. No matter how you are, a healthy diet and regular exercises keeps you fit.

    • The concentrate basically demonstrates that wellness level, not BMI, is the best indicator of mortality danger. People with the most minimal wellness level (as measured by treadmill execution) were four times more prone to bite the dust amid the 12-year study than people with high wellness levels.

      In view of these outcomes, it appears that ladies need to center on being thin, as well as on joining physical action into their lives each day. Despite whether you have excessively much weight around the center or whether you could remain to shave a couple pounds off those thighs, you can really build your general wellness, the quality and length of your life just by adding activity to your schedule.

  33. The correlations between BMI and health conditions are not necessarily causal, and they are statistical associations for groups of people, not individuals. If you take a random group of 10 people who you know nothing about, and try to guess whether each one will get, say, hypertension; and then take another random group of 10 people, and the only piece of information you are given is their BMI, how much more accurate are your guesses going to be for the second group(on average)? Here is person 11, BMI of 45. Here is person 12, BMI of 22. And so on. Most people think BMI will tell you a great deal, but the accuracy of your guesses will only be improved in the second group by 1 person. Most of what determines whether someone will get hypertension – over 90% of whatever the causes are – is NOT related to BMI.

    The belief that you can tell how healthy an individual is by looking at their body size is almost religious in our culture – but it is not scientific. There are lots of healthy fat people and lots of unhealthy thin people. Our stereotypes lead to a great deal of both false positives and false negatives. BMI is a dismal proxy for health.

  34. In response to Chris. I have posted some of the research recently published on obese metabolically healthy individuals. Yes, there are probably hundreds of studies showing a link between obesity, morbidity and mortality. However, if you read these studies, you will find that there has been no effort to control for metabolic health or physical fitness of subjects. All overweight and/or obese subjects have been lumped together as a single group. Newer studies are beginning to control for metabolic fitness and/or physical fitness by assessing the health and fitness of all subjects BEFORE conducting their data analysis. The researchers can then look at mobidity and mortality in metabolically healthy obese subjects versus metabolically unhealthy obese subjects. I encourage you to be skeptical of the results of studies where there has been no attempt to assess the health or fitness of obese subjects.
    The recent publication of the NHANES data has influenced scientists at the Center for Disease Control to publically admit that fat people can be healthy. This is an enormous step for this agency. It gives hope and motivation to overweight and obese persons who have tried repeatedly to lose weight, and who have failed in their efforts. Now, with lifestyle changes they can improve their health even if their weight does not change.

  35. Here is the reference regarding the NHANES data.
    Wildman RP, Muntner P, Reynolds K, McGinn AP, Rajpathak S, Wylie-Rosett J, Sowers MR.. The obese without cardiometabolic risk factor clustering and the normal weight with cardiometabolic risk factor clustering: prevalence and correlates of 2 phenotypes among the US population (NHANES 1999-2004).Arch Intern Med. 2008 Aug 11;168(15):1617-24.
    Here are additional references that support what I have said.
    Lee CD, Blair SN, Jackson AS.Cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition,and all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality in men. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Mar;69(3):373-80.

    Farrell SW, Braun L, Barlow CE, Cheng YJ, Blair SN. The relation of body mass index, cardiorespiratory fitness, and all-cause mortality in women. Obes Res 2002 Jun; 10(6): 417-23.

    Sui X, LaMonte MJ, Laditka JN, Hardin JW, Chase N, Hooker SP, Blair SN.
    Cardiorespiratory fitness and adiposity as mortality predictors in older adults, JAMA, 2007 Dec 5:298(21):2507-16.

    LaMonte MJ, Blair SN. Physical activity, cardiorespriratory fitness and adiposity: contributions to disease risk. Diabetes Care. 2005 Apr;28(4):895-901.

    Sims EA Are there persons who are obese, but metabolically
    healthy? Metabolism. 2001 Dec;50(12):1499-504.

    Brochu M, Tchernof A, Dionne IJ, Sites CK, Eltabbakh GH, Sims EA, Poehlman ET. What are the physical characteristics associated with a normal metabolic profile despite a high level of obesity in postmenopausal women?
    J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Mar;86(3):1020-5

    Karelis AD Faraj M Bastard JP St-Pierre DH Brochu M Prud’homme D Rabasa-Lhoret R. The metabolically healthy but obese individual presents a favorable inflammation profile. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Jul;90(7):4145-50. Epub 2005 Apr 26.

  36. Where can I get information(s) about fat people can be healthy. It is very helpful for me, but I really need result of scientific research.

  37. If the evidence is so strong, where are the links to peer reviewed studies supporting this argument? The published research clearly shows a link between obesity and morbidity and mortality. Are you suggesting a wrinkle here–that there is a link, but not for all obese people? Are there studies showing that obese but metabolically healthy individuals live as long as the thin, and at a similar quality of life?

    • There are thousands of studies showing no relationship of various health indicators to BMI. These negative studies are rarely the subject of press releases. Often the negative data are not even included in the abstract, so you have to wade through tables of primary data.

      Recently, there has been increasing reporting of health benefits of obesity, not just the absence of risk. The term for this is “obesity paradox”. Paradoxical findings of health benefits of obesity have been around for years but only now is it acceptable to mention this fact in the text and the abstract and even the title of medical articles. I am not claiming the benefits of obesity are greater than the risks, that’s not true, but obesity is not an unalloyed negative.

    • One of the core studies for these contentions was conducted by Linda Bacon at U.C. Davis, a study which, to make a long story short, indicated that fat women who were not given weight loss goals, but were instructed on diet and exercise for other aspects of health maintenance in combination with emotional counseling, came out with better internal health indicators, mood and compliance to their program than did those who were given the classical program with weight loss goals.

      One of my favorite quotes of recent years is that of Robert Fisk of the London Independent, who said after the 9/11/01 attacks, “You can speak of who, what, where, when and how…. it’s when you ask why that the nasty looks ensue.” In this case, we have all seen the statistics showing elevated incidence of various problems in the adipose. One does not even need to claim they are inaccurate to ask WHY this is the case. Claiming it is obviously inherent to adiposity is, frankly, about as valid as claiming that problems at higher risk for a given ethnicity is obviously inherent to that – like, for instance, incidences of AIDS or levels of illiteracy. I have heard many things in recent years, indications that stress-related emotional trauma, emotional fear, learned helplessness, and even some kinds of pollution themselves have strong correlations, almost to the letter, to the same list of maladies presented to us in the wrapper of “obesity related”. This population is also led to engage in directly damaging interventions – including, ironically, the act of tobacco smoking with which fat is now so often conflated – in the name of weight reduction. I have heard it said that the “medical cost of obesity” often includes the costs of products and services directed at weight reduction. To the extent that is the case, this “cost of obesity” is, also ironically, a circular definition.

    • Hello Joanne Ikeda, I have a good friend who is fat guy weighs 250 pounds and has a height of 5 foot 9 inches I must say he’s more fit than most of the guys in our team. so the research what you talk about seems to be quite valid for us.

    • I am a bigger girl who does exercise and eats healthy but can’t get the weight off, at least i know that i am healthy inside and have no underlying issues like some skinny people who think they are just fine

    • This is an interesting find. But I still believe those who are obese still have a higher chance of having a shortened lifespan and an increased risk of chronic disease. Interesting article nonetheless. Thank you.

    • History shows that fat people have often been powerful warriors. This I think has to be related to their genes and not their actual diet.

    • Well the standard of today is that everybody has to be thin, i think it’s way more important that people feel happy and good about them selfs.

    • I agree there’s a ‘range’ to work with… but with so many grossly overweight people, do we really need to be validating obesity? NO!

    • I used to be overweight before I met my husband. I used to weigh 200 lbs because of the nature of my work before which I exert less effort to sweat. But now, when I married my hubby, he encouraged me to at least do some exercise and have to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Since then I became fit and healthy. I guess, a matter of discipline and determination to have a healthy body. There is no reason that a fat person can never become sexy, it is just a matter of mind setting that you are aiming to get the weight you desired. Thanks for sharing this. I myself can relate your topic.

    • I really don’t understand why anyone would disagree with that. I think that sounds like it is something to look more closely at. I feel sometimes alot of people can be pretty narrow minded when it comes that. Well thats all for now, look forward to more post and information.. Talk to you guys later. “As in life, Chill for best results”

    • This is absolutely true!
      I remember a time when I was overweight…but due to my daily routine/work, my core strength and stamina were ridiculously good.

      However…now I’m fat again – without the goodies. : (

    • thanks for the post, you are so right I am not too heavy but I am overweight and just as healthy as many of my peers that are skinny and better health in most cases

    • This is an interesting article and unsurprisingly quite a controversial topic. Yes, it’s true that people who are labeled as “fat” can still lead a healthy lifestyle, but one must also consider the weight loss maintenance stage alongside the ‘weight loss’ stage. Sure, a person can lose weight, but it’s the weight loss maintenance stage which is ongoing and will determine whether one is able to maintain a healthy weight without regaining their former weight.

    • Using only 5440 people might seem acceptable but what are the previous medical histories of these people. How overweight were they? More information would be helpful.

      thanks Ted

    • Absolutely spot on comments. I know that Governments will not reveal the truth about the food industry because it would make 100’s unemployed and equally the medical profession does not exist to cure us but to sell more medicine just to manage our problems.

    • I agree that being overweight does not always mean unhealthy, there are many other factors to look at. I’ve see plenty over skinny people who are less than perfect health with high cholesterol and such.

    • I have seen people that overweight ride in 100+ mile bicycle races and run marathons. I agree overweight does not mean unfit.

    • Fat or lean. Does it Matter to Us. What really concerns is the present day silent killers like diabetes and High BP. Hopefully this post awakens everyone. Thanks to Joanne.

    • Education can set you up for the rest of your life, it is precious, so make sure you make the most of any educational opportunities you get.

    • There are healthy people who are over weight. But the fact is that more over weight people are unhealthy compared to skinny people.


    • The first time I noticed a heavy person having loads of energy and appearing to be healthy, was my aerobics instructor. The class could barely keep up with her. At the time I didn’t realize it, but I believe her weight gain could be attributed to excessive weight training.

    • I’ve seen many people, who lost there wait and regain more than there original wait…Those people who used suffer a lot in climbing the steps or hills….Thanks for information.

    • i believe that fat people can live healthy, fat doesn’t mean bad but of course fat look ugly for some people.
      in order to get a healthy life, the body size is not a big deal but for appearance it’s a big deal

    • It makes sense, but it seems to me that the most important thing about weight and health is your feeling about your size and weight, for example, I feel great and healthy when I’m skinny and fit, and When I look at overweight people I can’t believe, that they are energetic and look strong…
      Thank you!

    • I was starting to believe that I might end up being the sole gentleman that cared about this, at the least at this point i find out i’m not nuts i am going to make sure to check out a handful of various other threads when i get a little caffeine in me, cheers

    • You know their is some people you do have actually physical disorder and can’t lose the weight even if they only eat little. Sometime is good to talk to your physician about it.

    • i think this is incredibly misleading. Obesity is at an epidemic level, i understand some fat people can be fit and healthy and still be somewhat fat. However most fat people are fat simply because they are the completely opposite….UNHEALTHY. Articles like this will just give fat people another reason to sit infront of the tv and not get off the a$$

      Paul @ Fitness Assessment

    • I think this type of research is going to raise hope for some obese people along with their families. Just the thought that all overweight people are unhealthy and will live short lives gave excuse for some to not try at all.

    • I think fat people can be healthy, but not fit in any way. They get tired of doing anything in the world. To perform better, losing fat is vital and performance comes from fitness.


    • If you are over weight it does not mean you are unhealthy but it does for sure mean your body is not working as efficiantly as it should be. I THINK We all need to know that to be over weight is to be unhealthy because fat itself is accumualted through eating to much of the wrong kind of food.

    • I will have to agree that this is actually true. I’m overweight by about 100 pounds but still in great shape and healthy. Losing fat helps, but sometimes it is just genetic.

    • Body size and fatness are always relative statements thus one can be fat but perfectly healthy.

    • I totally agree, overweight does necessarily mean unhealthy. I think it is more a persons activity level, then their weight. However there are health issues related to being overweight just as there is to being underweight.

    • I’ve been overweight all my life, and believe that weight and health are not as linked as some believe, I was quite fit at 280lbs, my Doctor seemed disappointed that I didn’t have high blood pressure or any other ailments. Kind of weird.

    • Your comment sounds so much like something I’d say that I’m smiling bigger than usual. Welcome to the conversation.

    • I’ve been over weight as long as I can remember, I think it was 4th grade when I first discovered that I was heavy. It was the first time anyone had ever insulted me for my weight. I think she was flirting though 😉

      I don’t feel particularly unhealthy.. I can move around fine, bend over, lift, jog, just the same as any so-called “fit person”

      Brian H.

    • There is a difference between being overweight or obese or just plain fat. If people are predisposed to being overweight secondary to genetics and some are over weight simply because they eat too much. Some illnesses even cause you to be over weight. I am wonder how you can look at someone and make that judgment without knowing the cause?

      John B.

    • It is true that several overweight people are healthy and fit. However, this does not mean that overweight individuals are generally healthy.
      Mary Peters

    • Saying there are some healthy ones is like saying my granddad smoked till he was 90. Tell that to the ones that didn’t make it!

    • Being physically healthy is very subjective. The article mentioned that there are overweight people but does not necessarily mean unhealthy. There are even slim people who are insanely unhealthy. I guess it a matter of lifestyle. How we lead our lives dictates if we are living healthily or not.

    • I am about 6 foot tall and 210 pounds. Although I really don’t consider myself that big, I feel like if I lose weight it would be unhealthy for me.

    • There is a difference between true obesity and being a large person. Many people judge others by criterion that are false. Even the BMI is not a really good indicator of actual unhealthy weight. For instance I am 6’0″ in height and 185 lbs. This makes my BMI a 25.1, technically anything over 25 is overweight for my height. I defy you however to take a look at other factors such as cholesterol, fat percentage, blood pressure and respiration and tell me I am not in near perfect health. It is unfortunately more of a political rather than scientific criterion that determines if people are considered fat. After all we are inundated by Hollywood views of beauty, and even have a First Lady (Michelle Obama) that thinks she should make laws determining how much a person should legally be able to consume at a restaurant.

    • Take no medications, do not have high blood pressure, no heart trouble in the family, do not have ANY health problems, eat 90% vegetarian, have a physically demanding job, but “must” be unhealthy becasue I weigh a bit more than what the insurance charts say I should.

      and I think your right about people who are overweight can be somewhat healthy but what about the emotional affects on that person. Low self esteem, negative body image, and depression. Overall health is not just about the physical, it is also about the mental, and that should not be over looked.

    • Being physically healthy is very subjective. The article mentioned that there are overweight people but does not necessarily mean unhealthy. There are even slim people who are insanely unhealthy. I guess it a matter of lifestyle. How we lead our lives dictates if we are living healthily or not.
      Dalgıç Pompa

    • There are studies being done in the UK with Triathletes. Interesting facts have been that the most hardy contenders with better longterm results are that they carry more than 20% body fat.

    • I think overweight people should have a reasonable diet, daily exercise and regular exercise, it will help them lose weight and fight obesity

    • I was so offended by the rubbish government health nonsense. I did their online survey and ticked that I was overweight and they automatically assumed I was a couch potato – “have you tried walking to the kitchen instead of getting a taxi” and similarly stupid rubbish – for the record I run 10k twice a week, walk 6 miles to and from work every day and yes I am fat. The failure to recognise that you can be overweight (I am fat, I’m not like the numerous people who’ve commented so far who apparently are 73 stone of pure muscle, I have a genuine podge) and still be fit, exercise regularly and have a healthy diet (a few too many caleries but everything I need). My worry is diabetes, the article is right that i am not at any great risk of cancer or heart attack, but diabetes is the worry if you’re fit and fat like I am

    • Being physically healthy is very subjective. The article mentioned that there are overweight people but does not necessarily mean unhealthy.

    • I was just looking for this info for a while. After six hours of continuous Googling, at last I got it in your web site. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that don’t rank this type of informative sites in top of the list. Usually the top sites are full of garbage.

    • @Güvenlik Kameraları, i agree with your comment – being physically healthy is very subjective as every body is different.

    • If you need convincing that fat folks can be healthy and even athletic, remember that rugby has been picking the fat kids first since 1823.

    • The main reason of gaining weight is depression and broken hearted. I guess we must discipline our self to maintain a healthy life.

    • Based on what is “fit”, yadda, yadda, yadda…Dr. Oz did an experiment on his show last year. He had two women supposedly work out. Overall health is not just about the physical, it is also about the meantal, and that should not be over looked.

    • I think that the biggest problem here is that people have a very short attention span. Or should I rephrase it and say that they have a very short patience span. In most cases, including mine, I started a diet and wanted quick results. I did it for about a month and — not satisfied by the results — I let it go.

      I should have continued for another month and the incremental decrease would have motivated. I should not have kept the goal to reduce 7 Kgs at once.

    • I believe this research helped to understand why one may lose weight faster or slower than another. All this research simulations are very good way of research. Mandy is right that health is not just about the physical affects, it also the mental affects. Strong emotional can cause unhealthy lifestyle to one person. Thanks a lot for sharing these very informative articles.

    • If you need convincing that fat folks can be healthy and even athletic, remember that rugby has been picking the fat kids first since 1823. I Completely Agree to this !

    • Yep.. someone said that Health is not about the weight you lose. It’s about the life you gain..
      Natalie Sanelyte | Digital reviewer |

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