A new study has found that it's actually impossible to be both fat and healthy, even if you're only slightly overweight. Researchers at the University of Glasgow have looked at 300,000 people in a huge study comparing BMI to health conditions, and have found that the risk of heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure rockets as BMI increases any point beyond 22-23, which is actually below the BMI of 25 considered healthy. The findings are controversial because it's been a long held believe that purely being overweight didn't dictate whether someone was more or less healthy than someone at a 'healthy' weight. Apparently, the more fat a person carries around their waist, the higher their risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD). Risk of CVD death has also been proven to jump by 16% in women and 10% in men for every 12.6cm and 11.4cm increase in waist circumference.
Lead researcher Dr Stamatina Iliodromiti said: "Any public misconception of a potential “protective” effect of fat on heart and stroke risks should be challenged. ‘This is the largest study that provides evidence against the obesity paradox in healthy people. By maintaining a healthy BMI of around 22-23 kg/m2, healthy people can minimise their risk of developing or dying from heart disease. In terms of other adiposity measures, the less fat, especially around their abdomen, they have, the lower the risk of future heart disease. Whatever your BMI, especially when in the overweight or obese range, losing a few kilograms or more if possible, will only improve your health."
Previous research had suggested that carrying extra weight might not actually boost death rates for some, particularly the elderly, and a number had even suggested that being overweight may protect against disease, a claim dubbed the "obesity paradox." The researchers in the Glasgow study noted the participants' Body Mass Index (BMI) -- a ratio of weight-to-height squared used to determine whether a person falls in a healthy weight range. The team then tracked which participants went on to develop CVD, and the findings certainly challenge the obesity paradox. Doctor Iliodromiti has urged the public to take note of the findings: "Any public misconception of a potential 'protective' effect of fat on heart and stroke risks should be challenged."