Welcome back to Scandinavian.fitness and ‘norse Views’ School of Fitness.
And this time, it´s time for a short one.
Obesity is no friend of the bettering of our health and longevity.
Just as how the old school act of serious bulking never did anyone’s health and fitness levels any favors. And pointing this scientific reality out is not about fat shaming. It´s about helping the world and its individuals turn the tide toward better health, and better fitness. And doing so does not remove peoples individual right to pick whatever body size and fat percentage that they so prefer.
We already know that obesity ( and a fat powered high BMI ) increases unhealthy factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. And it often increases depression, drowsiness and general sedentary choices. Which indirectly leads to worse health in numerous ways. But if a person with a high fat powered BMI is deemed healthy as far as those traditional markers are concerned is excess fat itself still bad?
Put in another way, will a higher amount of excess body fat still lead to worse health even if your bloodwork turns out ok and you do not feel depressed and drowsy and you do hit the gym?.
- Absolutely no. If my blood work is ok, and I hit the gym and do not feel lazy, tired and depressed then my high body fat mass is perfectly fine and healthy.
- While the above would have been wonderful for a lot of people out there its just not true. Plenty of studies tell us in various ways that a high amount of fat powered body mass just isn’t good for you.
Joint health suffer for one.
And there´s the general out of breath syndrome of having far too much body mass. Too much body fat also affect our internal hormone system and so forth. There are in other words, lots of ways that our health and wellbeing suffer from carrying around too much body fat, and all these things hold true even if our blood work is perfectly fine.
But today’s question directly asked if too much body fat/obesity increases the chance for diabetes type 2 and coronary artery disease. And the answer to this is, yes, science strongly indicates that having too much body fat in itself will increase these risk factors even if your health is thought of as ok otherwise.
Scroll down for the correct answer.
wolves by Mike Koontz, available as a fine art print at printler.com
Option 2 is the correct answer.
Even if you feel healthy and your doctor tells you that you are considered healthy, excess body fat will still increase plenty of health risk factors. Including a big increase in diabetes type 2 risk as well as coronary artery issues. In numbers, the relevant study which looked at close to 1 million people comes out like this. For every five-point rise in body fat powered BMI, the odds of Type 2 diabetes increased by 67 percent and coronary artery disease by 20 percent.
Why do I keep saying “body fat powered BMI”. Because people with a low body fat percentage and a lot of strong and athletic lean muscle mass and capable cardiovascular levels remain not just perfectly healthy but they will also rack up quite a serious BMI point. So it is important that we make a difference between a high BMI from excess body fat and a high BMI in fit and healthy athletes.
My own muscle-powered BMI is for instance right up in obesity territory despite my body fat % being low and my cardiovascular levels high and capable.
And such is the life of a healthy fit natural athlete.
The relevant study was published in JAMA Netw Open. 2018;1(7):e183788. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.3788 , and you can find the link over at norse view.
“This study is important because we can conclude that it is not solely factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol or lack of exercise that tend to come with obesity that are harmful — the excess fat itself is harmful.” “Patients may think their cardiovascular risk is mitigated if their other risk factors are normal or being treated, but this study suggests you cannot ignore the extra (fat) weight.”
Haitham Ahmed, MD. Preventive cardiologist, Cleveland Clinic.
Keep on grinding people, and stay healthy fit.