Men with normal weight regardless of fitness level were at a lower risk of early death compared to obese people who had high aerobic fitness.
Obesity and fitness cannot go hand in hand.
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A new research dismisses the concept of ‘fat but fit’ altogether and suggests that being fat is much more dangerous than not having fitness.
Swedish researchers have found that obese people who exercise regularly still have the high risk of dying early compared to slim people who are unfit or do not exercise regularly.
Aerobic fitness reflects a person’s capacity to take oxygen from the atmosphere and use to it produce energy for muscle cells. The study was aiming to find a direct link between aerobic fitness and the risk of early death.
Researchers involved 1.3 million men aged 29 or more for the study and tested their aerobic fitness by asking them to cycle until the fatigue caused them to stop. Then, participants were followed over the course of 30 years.
Researchers found that maintaining the right weight was the most important factor for better health in the long run. Men who had the highest aerobic fitness had a 48% lower risk of death from any cause than those in lowest aerobic fitness. Alcohol and narcotics had the strongest association with death.
The benefits of aerobic fitness decreased as weight increased. Men with normal weight regardless of their fitness level were at the lower risk of death compared to obese individuals who had the highest aerobic fitness.
“Low aerobic fitness in late adolescence is associated with an increased risk of early death. Furthermore, the risk of early death was higher in fit obese individuals than in unfit-normal-weight individuals.” Study concludes.
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The finding also “challenges the currently held idea that obese individuals can fully compensate mortality risk by being physically fit.”