New Survey Says You Cannot Be "Fat But Healthy"
While the body positivity movement -- and even a recent Cosmopolitan cover story -- declare you can be "fat and healthy," researchers with the European Society of Cardiology say that's not the case.
A major analysis of data on more than 520,000 adults shows that while people who are overweight can see benefits from exercise, their size still puts them in jeopardy for heart attacks and strokes.
"One cannot be 'fat but healthy,'" Dr. Alejandro Lucia from the European University of Madrid put it plainly in a media release.
While those who are overweight can see reductions in cases of diabetes and hypertension compared to those overweight people who don't exercise, the scientists found, even those active overweight people have higher rates of high cholesterol, diabetes, and other dangerous markers like high blood pressure compared to people who are not overweight.
"More activity is better, so walking 30 minutes per day is better than walking 15 minutes a day," Dr. Lucia reports. "Exercise does not seem to compensate for the negative effects of excess weight."
He adds, "This was the first nationwide analysis to show that being regularly active is not likely to eliminate the detrimental health effects of excess body fat. Our findings refute the notion that a physically active lifestyle can completely negate the deleterious effects of overweight and obesity."