Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fit Is Simply Not Enough If You Are Fat

Being fit but fat is simply not good enough. Excess weight can take years off your life, even if you get plenty of exercise.

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Being fit but fat is simply not good enough. Excess weight can take years off your life, even if you get plenty of exercise. This was the finding of a study published in 2004 in New England Journal of Medicine.

The study was based on questionnaires used in the Nurses’ Healthy Study, which followed more than 116,000 female nurses for 24 years, and on death certificates and medical records.

Women who were active but obese had almost twice the risk of death of women who were both active and lean. Women who were sedentary but slender were 55 percent more likely to die early. Those who were both sedentary and obese were almost 250 percent more likely to die.

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Being physically active did not cancel out the increased mortality of overweight. Being lean did not counterbalance the risk effect of being sedentary. The findings would probably apply to men as well, as indicated by the study.

If you are lean but you are sedentary, do not fool yourself. You are still at risk. You need to get physical active. This is the warning given by one of the researcher. He also opposed the suggestion that if you are particularly active, you do not have to worry about your body weight, about your diet. This study, however, did not specify any particular disease that leads to the death. As we all know, obesity or over-weight can lead to many disease including heart disease, diabetes, etc.

If you had ever read my previous article – "Be Active towards Fitness", you would probably remember that when it comes to heart disease, being fit is as important as being thin, according to a report published in 2004 in the Journal of American Medical Association. This is somewhat conflicting but in the research conducted for health issues, this is not uncommon. In one study, one food or activity may be bad for our health yet in another research; it can be proven to be beneficial to us.

Another study on obesity conducted by Swedish doctors also in 2004 reported that weight loss and the protection against diabetes for patients undergoing obesity surgery like stomach stapling, etc. are major and long-lasting. The researchers looked at more than 4,000 people, about half of whom underwent surgery. The other half were advised to change their habits, or got no treatment at all.

Two years later, the surgery group had lost about 23 percent of its weight, while those in the comparison group weighed almost exactly the same. Ten years later, the comparison group had gained an average of 1.6 percent. Those who underwent surgery had regained a larger percentage – but were still 16 percent below their original weights. Many surgical patients recovered from diabetes, and the operation prevented many new cases.

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