I did mention about this when I talked about Body Positivity issue, and I think it is only fair now if I actually look into this a bit deeper so that I can give you a more balanced information. So, let’s just get on with this, shall we?
So the question was… can you be fat and fit?
In 2012 NHS published an article about the study carried out by researchers from the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, the University of Granada, Spain and the University of South Carolina, USA. The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation and the Coca-Cola Company.
It is published by European Heart Journal— that shows that people can be obese but not showing a greater risk of cardio vascular problem. This study followed a group of people who are considered as obese according to 1. BMI and 2. body percentage measurement.
This study involved over 43K+ participants, mostly Caucasian professional males with average age of 44. The data was employed from 1973 to 2003. Out of those 43K+ participants, 13% are considered obese by BMI standard, and 30% are considered obese by body fat percentage measurement.
Within those 13% people who are considered obese by BMI standard, 30% are metabolically healthy. While in the other group 46% are metabolically healthy.
I will stop quoting the NHS article right here, because I suppose I can give you this link and you can read the details yourself. I just want to show you that there is a research about this.
First of all, this research did not say anything about waist circumference. As we know now, that waist circumference has a big role in our cardio vascular health. Larger waistline means we are carrying visceral fat which are harmful to our heart and blood pressure.
This research only shows BMI, and we have discussed about the flaws the BMI system has. We know that BMI did not take account of the weight of fat or muscle mass, and people who are considered as obese by BMI standard might actually be a body builder with muscle mass as big as a truck… which is nowhere near ‘fat’.
This is why HARVARD medical school published this article in 2018. According to this article where the weight lies as important or even more important than the weight itself. This is why understanding your body type is also important. If you know you are ‘apple shape’, you know you are storing the fat in the abdomen area… you know you are more prone to build those visceral fat.
British Heart Foundation rejected outright this ‘fat and fit’ idea altogether. Being an organisation which concern itself to cardio vascular problems in the UK, BHF published an article showing a concern about this ‘fat and fit’ idea in 2015.
However, in 2017 they followed it up with a newer research that there is no such thing as healthy obesity.
Now I don’t want to be that kind of person who force other people to do what I do, or believe what I believe. And, I am not going to be grumpy if you are happy with the way you are right now — in fact, I am happy that you can find happiness like that. BUT, it doesn’t mean that you have to make excuses based on a false information, or a debunked science backed by… Coca Cola Company.
Coca Cola Company funding research about ‘healthy obesity’ is like British American Tobacco funding research about ‘benign lung cancer’.
Be whatever you want to be, but do it with a full knowledge of risk. Like smokers who are completely aware of the risk of death of lung cancer, or anyone who go out licking toilet seat aware of the risk of death of e.coli. Be whatever you want to be, but base your choice with solid facts.
Those researches and studies around you are there not to attack us for our life choices, but to help us deciding what kind of life we are choosing. They are there not to mock us for being what we are either. It is a research based on science, and it is not fat phobia, it is not fat shaming, it is not blaming anyone.
Now, that I have reached the end of my Moody Monday talk, I’d like to leave the conclusion to you. Can you be fat and fit?