We all love our sports and great athletes come in all different shapes and sizes. From lean swimmers and long-distance runners to beefy soccer players and even sumo wrestlers, the idea that you can be obese but fit is an idea accepted as fact by many, but the research recently published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology say something else.
A comprehensive study conducted in Spain, using data from more than half a million employed adults, with an average age of 42, sought to understand what a person's body mass index (BMI) had on the likelihood of diabetes and high Blood content means pressure or high cholesterol in those who exercise compared to those who are inactive.
On the positive side, the results show that the more physical activity you get, the less likely you are to develop diabetes and high blood pressure, showing a beneficial relationship between exercise and overall health improvement. However, people who were overweight or obese were still at a higher risk of negative cardiovascular outcomes than active and inactive people within their normal weight range. Research also showed that active but obese people are twice as likely to have higher cholesterol levels than inactive but normal weight people. In addition, they were four times more likely to develop diabetes and five times more likely to develop high blood pressure.
"This was the first nationwide analysis to show that regular activity is unlikely to eliminate the harmful health effects of excess body fat," said study author Dr. Alejandro Lucia from the European University in Madrid. "Our results refute the notion that an active lifestyle can completely negate the harmful effects of being overweight and obese." The results mean that while exercise improves a person's health regardless of their weight, it is not possible to ignore excess body fat as a risk factor and try to compensate for it with more active activity. The health risk associated with obesity cannot be eliminated.
“The fight against obesity and inactivity is equally important. It should be a common battle. Weight loss should remain a primary health policy goal alongside promoting an active lifestyle, ”said Dr. Lucia. "You can't be fat, but you can be healthy."