Adele proved right: it is possible to be large and fit, say scientists

Adele proved right: it is possible to be large and fit, say scientists


The category of “metabolically healthy obesity” would allow medics to target those most at risk of heart disease and cancer and ensure that expensive treatments such as surgery would be used on those who need them most, German researchers say. Waist size, physical fitness, fat around the organs and low insulin resistance could be used as markers for the new category, which must be clearly defined, according to The Times. Adele, who said that she has always been plus size, wrote in her autobiography: “I would only lose weight if it affected my health or sex life, which it doesn’t.”


Lawson has also said she believes that thin does not mean healthy. She said: “I don’t equate thinness with healthiness as other people do, because I’ve only ever seen people get thin and then die.” Evidence suggests that BMI, which is calculated by dividing a person’s weight by the square of their height, is not an exact indicator of good health.The NHS currently warns that anyone with a score of over 30 is obese and at risk of problems such as heart disease to cancer.


But an article published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology said: “Results from several prospective studies show that only obese, unfit individuals, but not obese, fit individuals, are at higher mortality risk than are normal weight fit individuals.” Professor Matthias Schulze, from the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Nuthetal, the lead author of the article, said: “It’s obvious that just BMI is insufficient to classify risk. That’s nothing new but it’s not received as much attention as it should. There should be a more complex assessment of risk factors.”


He said doctors should pay attention to insulin resistance and fat around the organs rather than relying on BMI. He said public health experts should work on a precise definition to know which patients needed bariatic surgery and other expensive treatments. “In view of the magnitude of the obesity epidemic, stratification of obese individuals, in terms of their risk for obesity-related metabolic diseases, becomes more important for prevention and treatment purposes.


“Potentially, scarce resources can be more effectively used if tailored towards the metabolic profile of an obese individual; some prevention and treatment strategies can be very expensive and time consuming,” he said. But he said that it was still important for obese people to lose weight. “It would be false reassurance to think you’re obese but you feel fine and until now you don’t have high blood pressure”, he said. Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said that it would make more sense to create a stricter definition of obesity defined by scans as well as BMI measures. “I don’t subscribe to healthy obesity. I think obesity is a disease and it needs to be treated differently,” he said.

By Olivia Goldhill

The Telegraph, 30th August, 2013

View this article