The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

Skinny Fat

on January 23, 2013

There are a lot of people who are “skinny fat”.  They appear thin, but they don’t exercise, they eat poorly, and often they have health issues like diabetes and high blood pressure.  I had a boss who I would consider skinny fat.  She ate next to nothing, half a sandwich or a small bowl of soup for lunch, and while she appeared trim, she seemed doughy, lacking in muscle tone and unfit.  My goal has always been healthy first and thin second and a new study appears to support this.

The study (Influence of a Lifestyle-Based Weight Loss on the Metabolic Risk Profile of Metabolically Normal) shows that living healthy can significantly improve overall health even if not combined with weight loss.  The researchers looked at 392 “metabolically normal” and abnormal obese patients.  A metabolically normal obese person is one who has normal blood pressure, high levels of insulin sensitivity, normal blood sugar, and a “favourable lipid profile”. A metabolically abnormal obese person is one who has one or more common cardiovascular or diabetes risk factors ie. high blood sugar, elevated triglycerides, high blood pressure or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.  It is well known that a even a slight drop in weight eg. 5% to 10% of initial body weight can improve metabolic health in people who have health issues.  It is unclear, however, whether or not weight loss can increase the benefits for those who are healthy.

Essentially the study indicates that one needs to improve his or her health by eating better and moving more, and not just by losing weight.  I don’t think that I am healthy at my current weight and I don’t think that this study is giving anyone license to promote or encourage morbid obesity, but I do think that more of us need to think less about every single morsel we put into our mouths and more about how to get active and stay active.

– the Goddess

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