‘Healthy obesity’ has become a buzzword on the internet, and for good reason. The idea that you can be both fat and healthy is causing debate and controversy across the medical arena, and not for the first time. Medical experts have spent more than a decade trying to determine whether or not healthy obesity is real.
Following the latest research into the issue, Swedish physicians are now dismissing the whole idea as a myth.
For several decades, the medical community has endeavored to understand the connection between obesity and the risk of ailments like heart disease. And while most people have always understood the dangers that excess weight can pose, studies begun to emerge in the early 2000s exploring the anomalous nature of individuals who were obese yet perfectly healthy prima facie.
That led to questions in the medical community about the possibility of being fat yet healthy. A number of the earliest studies into the issue suggested that obesity wasn’t a problem so long as you have an active lifestyle and feel good.
According to a Boston University School of Public Health professor, while there are cases of individuals who are both obese and healthy, this is more of a transient state. The point is that in most cases, the excessive weight will eventually cause long-term consequences.
Andrew Stokes, the Boston University professor, admits that the medical arena doesn’t have the tools necessary to accurately quantify the health risks of being obese. Even Body Mass Index (which compares an individual’s weight to their height) cannot possibly differentiate between muscle mass and fat. For this reason, people using BMI as a measure are frequently mislabeled.
According to Stokes, proponents of the healthy obesity also have a tendency to compare unhealthy individuals of normal weight to their healthier yet obese counterparts, making conclusions about the situation while failing to take into account the negative lifestyle habits individuals of regular weight normally pursue.
Based on research from the Karolinska lnstitutet, while there is such a thing as obese people that are healthy, healthy obesity is not a long-term state of being. Obese individuals (especially adults) eventually become unhealthy obese individuals, no matter how healthy they might appear at the present.
That being said, though, the fact that healthy obesity is basically a less unhealthy situation than the worst-case scenario cannot be ignored. Individuals in this state of healthy obesity are encouraged to use the opportunity to overcome their excess weight.
The worst thing a seemingly healthy yet obese individual could do is to believe that their state of healthy obesity will persist over the long term.