There’s no such thing as being ‘healthy fat’, scientists warn – risk of deadly disease remains
According to a study, there is no “healthy fat”.
Researchers in France have found that people who eat healthily and exercise are still at higher risk of health problems when they are overweight.
The study of nearly half a million people found that the benefits of exercise, eating fruits and vegetables, and cutting out alcohol and cigarettes were only “modest” in overweight people.
dr Sebastien Czernichow of the Hopital European Georges Pompidou in Paris said: “Adults with obesity were at higher risk of various diseases.
“Although following a healthy lifestyle is associated with a reduced risk of several adverse health outcomes, it does not completely eliminate the risk of obesity-related diseases.”
About a quarter of English adults are obese, with a further 38 per cent being overweight but not obese.
Experts around the world predict that one billion people will be obese by the end of the decade.
Previous research has denied that people can be “fit but fat” and showed that obese people who exercise regularly are still more likely to die early than sedentary people of a healthy weight.
The latest study, published in the JAMA Network Open, looked at whether an overall healthy lifestyle is equally beneficial for obese and healthy Brits.
The researchers studied adults between the ages of 40 and 73 between 2006 and 2010 and asked them how regularly they exercised, how much they drank and whether they smoked.
Their nutritional score was higher when they regularly ate fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, dairy and vegetable oil, and lower when they ate more white bread or red and processed meats.
They were then observed to see if they had any diseases related to obesity, including diabetes, cancer, heart disease, asthma, liver disease and gout.
A high score on all four lifestyle measures reduced the risk of the disease by 36 percent in people with a healthy BMI between 18.5 and 24.9.
Overweight people with a BMI of 30 who followed all four or more healthy lifestyle factors reduced their risk by just 12 percent compared to people who didn’t follow any at all.