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Old 03-23-2006, 07:56 PM   #1
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Default Is it okay to be fat but fit?

This study says no:

Some experts have argued that being unfit is actually worse than being fat, and that fat people can be healthy as long as they are fit.

A large, new study undermines that argument, concluding that while both fitness and fatness are important, no amount of physical activity can completely erase the risks of being overweight.
(my emphasis)


Being either overweight or inactive each independently raised risk factors for heart disease, the researchers found. While women at any weight reduced their risks by exercising, being overweight appeared to be worse than being inactive, the researchers found. Even thin couch potatoes had lower risks than active women who were just a little overweight, the researchers found.
Complete article here.
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Old 03-24-2006, 08:12 AM   #2
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It seems the article compared inactive thin and heavy women, unless I'm misunderstanding. Well, wouldn't becoming more active tend to lead heavy women to weight loss, anyway? I mean, it seemed to only say that if you're still heavy, you still have more risk factors. Well, duh!

I don't know--it just doesn't seem like much of a breakthrough to me I believe that you CAN be fat and healthy, BUT you have increased RISK for a lot of things. However, I can't equate an increased risk with flat-out unhealthiness (I may be making up a word there). I mean, a perfectly fit person could live atop an old toxic waste site without even knowing it, therefore increasing their risk for illness, but does that make that person unhealthy? Some people have the "risk" for lots of things but never actually end up having them.

I certainly don't advocate staying fat if you already are. If by reducing your weight you can reduce risk factors, then why would you not do so? But I don't agree that fat automatically equals unhealthy. It simply means increased risk of becoming unhealthy. Does that make sense?
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Old 03-31-2006, 08:48 AM   #3
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Perfect sense to me. Besides you have to really take research "news" with several large grains of salt. One study doesn't prove anything, though it is almost always the way the general public hears about research information - one study at a time.

There are also studies that found that being slightly underweight puts you at more risk for death than being slightly overweight. So much depends on how the study was conducted, what they were looking for, how they measure it, who participated... and since it usually isn't the scientists writing the news articles, how the journalist is interpreting the results.

There was even a study done that links bra wearing and breast cancer (could it be that older women with larger breasts are more at risk?)

I think it's important to remember for both exercise and weight there is a spectrum. Quality of life depends on using common sense, and acting in accordance with your priorities and values, and personal histories.

If you feel you can't (or just plain won't) exercise much, then it's even more important to keep your weight under control. If you can't or won't lose weight, then you need to be as fit as possible (there are active fat people (like my strong, stubborn husband and sumo wrestlers - considered studly in japan, which may be why asian women are always flirting with my husband).

Anyway, instead of thinking in terms of black and white, I try to think of it in terms of how active I can be, and how close to my ideal weight I can come. Since I am at the riskiest side of both spectrums, I have to look at the few steps in front of me, and not the end of the journey.

That's me anyway.
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Old 03-31-2006, 11:30 PM   #4
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I just read an article by a fitness expert a couple weeks ago saying that a heavy person who exercised could be more fit than a thin person who never exercised. If I can find where and who it was, I'll post it. I do know from formerly working in a gym that you can be more fit at any weight. Exercise will lower blood pressure, give you more energy, and boost your mood. I used to always think, well, if I'm fat and not dieting, why bother with exercise, it's surely a waste of effort. I finally got a clue.
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Old 04-02-2006, 02:15 PM   #5
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studies are very random. There's an article on the NYTimes- a male doctor who is rather overweight on the BMI scale runs everyday and eats nothing but healthy foods- he's still considered healthy.
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Old 04-08-2006, 07:25 PM   #6
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If you exercise and eat healthy with any consistancy you are probably not going to stay fat. I was fat and healthy however, who knows how long I could have stayed that way.
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Old 04-22-2006, 05:52 PM   #7
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Well said, Ready! I think people who tell themselves they can be fat but fit, long term, are kidding themselves.

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