Anyone with more than just a passing acquaintance with a gym membership, personal trainer or Hip-Hop Abs workout video, knows that skinny does not always equal healthy. You can be the slimmest thing walking and still have an unhealthy body mass index (BMI).
But we were still told that being overweight was unhealthy anyway we sliced it.
According to a new study, physical fitness is a better indication of health than BMI. Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, published the ground-breaking study which observed 14,000 men and women over a six year period. The findings were at the very least, surprising:
In those men and women who were overweight with higher physical fitness levels, there was a 19% lower risk of heart disease and stroke related deaths and a 15% lower risk of death from any other cause. According to the study, those men and women who were in the normal weight range, but less physically fit, were more likely to face death.
Lead researcher, Duck-chul Lee, Ph.D., says this is a very good development for those people who become depressed, or lose momentum in their weight-loss programs when the pounds just don’t seem to fall off. “This is good news for people who are physically active but can’t seem to lose weight,” said Lee. “You can worry less about your weight as long as you continue to maintain or increase your fitness levels.”
There are other health dangers—besides a proven higher risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol and blood-pressure, and diabetes–that being overweight can introduce into a person’s life, among them being low self-esteem and depression.
– Kirsten West Savali