While obesity is linked to a host of ailments, there are many women who are obese but metabolically healthy and free from conditions, such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar or abnormal blood fat. But according to a recent study, such women are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease compared to women of normal weight.
The research, conducted by the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke (DIfE) in Nuthetal, Germany, was conducted on over 90,000 women.The findings, published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, indicate that obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, regardless of whether women develop any of the common metabolic diseases or not. The study found that women with “metabolically healthy obesity” were also found to be at 39% higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Women with normal weight but metabolically unhealthy were around two-and-a-half times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than women of the same weight who were metabolically healthy. “Our study confirms that metabolically healthy obesity is not a harmless condition, and even women who remain free of metabolic diseases for decades face an increased risk of cardiovascular events,” said lead author Professor Matthias Schulze.
“Most healthy women are also likely to develop Type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol over time, irrespective of their BMI (body mass index) putting them at higher risk for cardiovascular disease,” he added.
“Our findings highlight the importance of preventing the development of metabolic diseases, and suggest that even individuals in good metabolic health may benefit from early behavioural management to improve their diet and increase physical activity in order to guard against progression to poor metabolic health,” Schulze said.
Other studies on being healthy but overweight
* A 2018 study says that people who are 30 pounds (13.6kg) or more overweight should think about slimming down, even if they don’t have high blood pressure or any other heart ailment. During the course of the study, it was found that people who were obese developed metabolic syndrome within 10 years, putting them at a much higher risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
* A 2018 British study found that being obese puts you at risk of cardiovascular disease, and the risk increases steadily the more fat a person carries around their waist.
* A 2017 study by researchers from Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge found that being overweight or obese increased a person’s risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) by up to 28% compared to those with a healthy bodyweight, even if they had healthy blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.