Physical activity, not weight, most important factor for healthy life.

As you may know there is  new research out which has caused the following headlines...

  • "Being fit is no help if you're fat as well: Scientists say healthy obesity does not exist"   Daily Mail, December 3 2013
  • "'Healthy and overweight' is a myth, study suggests."   BBC News, December 3 2013
  • "Obese but healthy? It’s a big, fat myth."   The Times, December 3 2013

Lovely dramatic headlines which drew the reader in. However

  • "Being fit is no help if you're fat as well: Scientists say healthy obesity does not exist"

Fit was not measured, fit implies physical activity. Research has been done recently which shows the most important factor in living a long life is being physically active independent of BMI.

"'Healthy and overweight' is a myth, study suggests." BBC News, December 3 2013

Overweight is defined as a BMI between 29-30. The research actually found that overweight, healthy people's risks were so similar to the control group's risks that the difference was statistically insignificant.

  • "Obese but healthy? It’s a big, fat myth." The Times, December 3 2013

The highest risk group for cardivascular disease was the metabolically unhealthy but normal weight participants (BMI of between 18-25), hence my blog post title. Apparently that is not as appealing as a media headline however.

Here is my opinion on the whole thing.

  1. Weight shaming is not ok, ever. It doesn't help anything.
  2. Physical activity is always good.
  3. Move more, try and eat fruit and veg, be nice to each other and don't base a persons worth on what they weigh.
  4. Liking yourself is the healthiest behaviour of all.

Two more balanced articles which go into greater detail.

Update: Metabolically healthy means normal blood pressure, low cholesterol and a healthy waist size (less than 37 inches (male) or 31.5 inches (female) )