If you had to pick one or the other, which one do you think would be “better for your health?” A new study in the International Journal of Epidemiology claims you are better off being ‘lean and lazy.’
Men who weighed in in the normal range, regardless of their fitness level, appeared to have a lower risk of death as compared to those who were obese but fit (in the highest quarter of aerobic fitness). Even more striking: the beneficial effect of high aerobic fitness appeared to be reduced with increased obesity. In fact, those at the most extreme in terms of obesity did not see a benefit at all from aerobic fitness.
According to a story in U.S. News & World Report, “the new research seems to contradict the idea that people might escape the health hazards associated with obesity if they’re “fat but fit.”
The study looked at the health data of 1.3 million Swedish men over about 30 years. Their aerobic fitness was gauged through a bike test where they were asked to ride until they ‘had to stop’ because they were tired. As Mother Nature Network pointed out, as large and comprehensive as this study is – it only involved men so it is unclear if the same results would apply to women.
This research seems to support a study released earlier this year in the journal Diabetes Care that suggested the obese but fit theory was misleading.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this new study and whether it changes the way you think about obesity and fitness. Generating conversations among our partners will help us find collaborative solutions to Arizona’s health problems, which in turn will take us one step closer to our vision of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!