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More Evidence Heavy But Healthy People Still At Risk

By Genevra Pittman

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – A new analysis supports the idea that obese people who are otherwise healthy are still at risk of heart problems down the road.

Researchers who reviewed past studies found that even heavy people who didn’t have high blood pressure or diabetes, for instance, had more heart attacks and strokes over time than healthy normal-weight people.

That runs contrary to the results of some recent shorter-term reports, which suggested people could be obese but heart-healthy.

“It made perfect sense to say there might be a group that have extra body fat but aren’t necessarily at risk,” James O. Hill said. “I think what this study says is, they are. It’s just the risk may be lower (than among obese people who also have other problems) and it might take a little longer to see it.”

Hill, executive director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado in Aurora, co-wrote a commentary published with the new analysis.

Canadian researchers pooled the results of eight studies that followed normal-weight, overweight and obese people over time.

Some of those participants were metabolically healthy. Others had a mix of heart-related risk factors like a large waist circumference, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low “good” cholesterol and diabetes.

The studies included just over 61,000 people. Over a period of three to 30 years, depending on the study, about 4,000 of them died or developed heart problems.

At first, obese people without metabolic problems didn’t seem to be any more at-risk than slimmer participants who were also metabolically healthy.

Then the researchers looked only at studies that followed people for 10 years or more. They found that over time, heavy but healthy people in those studies were 24 percent more likely to die, have a heart attack or stroke or develop heart failure.

“It was popular to say, well, maybe we shouldn’t worry about these people,” Dr. Bernard Zinman, who worked on the study, told Reuters Health.

“This kind of myth was propagated by looking at individuals and really not following the cohort for long enough.”

Zinman is a senior investigator at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and director of the hospital’s Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes.

His team’s findings are in line with recent research from Denmark. The authors of the Danish study found people’s chances of developing heart problems went up as their weight went up, whether or not they also had metabolic problems (see Reuters Health story of November 12, 2013 here: http://reut.rs/17Sa7OP).

“The bottom line is that the stress of obesity on your cardiovascular system is always there,” Zinman said. “It may be more in some people; it may be less in others.”

NOT JUST ABOUT WEIGHT

Although extra weight was tied to long-term heart problems, normal-weight people could still have an elevated risk of death and heart disease, the researchers found.

They wrote in the Annals of Internal Medicine that people who had a combination of metabolic risk factors were more likely to develop heart problems, regardless of their weight.

Metabolically unhealthy normal-weight, overweight and obese people were all about three times more likely to get heart-related conditions or die of any cause than healthy normal-weight people.

“That’s a little bit scary,” Hill told Reuters Health.

He said it shows that although weight is important, it’s not the only thing. And heavy people shouldn’t be the only ones trying to improve their health to lower their chance of getting heart disease.

“Whether you’re very obese or not obese, if you can engage in the behaviors that we know are part of a healthy lifestyle, you can probably reduce your risk as much as it’s genetically possible to reduce it,” Hill said.

Zinman recommended that people reduce their portion sizes while maintaining a healthy diet and exercise for half an hour at least five days per week.

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/bN9DEh Annals of Internal Medicine, online December 2, 2013.

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Be Well On Your Way: Journey to a More Authentic You (Paperback) tagged “healthy lifestyle” 88 times

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Comments

  1. Reply

    Why Is A Healthy Lifestyle Important In School? I need some ideas about Why a healthy lifestyle is important in school. I have to have an answer in less than 1000 words. Applying for college scholarship. Thanks in advance!

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    1. Reply

      You need a healthy lifestyle in school to concentrate on your studies. You need to be able to focus for one thing. You also need to plenty of rest, and a good diet.

      View Comment
  2. Reply

    How The Computer Is Supporting Us In Our Healthy Lifestyle? How do computer helps people in their healthy lifestyle? How can The computer help people? Is it from websites? advertisements? I need it really badly. How can the computer is supporting to improve our healthy lifestyle. in what ways? How can computer promote the quality of healthy lifestyle. How can computer convince people to stop unnecessary things like drugs or alcohol? How can computer HELP us?
    AT least 6-8 points would do. thank you.

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    1. Reply

      The computer is not a healthy lifestyle for people. It programs us to thinking we can find everything on here. Jobs, pay bills, shop, everything! We can do that ourselves and it seems technology is taking the chores away from us, that can be easily done by human themself. The computer can help us though when we need to find information, imformation fast. Websites help us retain information, advertisements are just like commericals there just trying to sell or maniupulate us to buy whatever their advertising. The computer is not improving our healthy lifestyle. Peoples eyes can go out of sight and hurt very badly(like mine and i’m only 15 years old.) from years and years staring at the computer. The worst thing to stare at is a computer screen — I don’t know why I still do it for hours at end, but I do. The computer will never promote the quality of healthy lifestyle, its just not possible. The computer can convince people to stop drugs and alcohol but if you think about it would you rather have an obsession over the computer for hours at the day, you have to be near the computer you have to be on it then doing drugs or alcohol? The computer is just as bad addiction as alcohol and drugs. The computer cannot HELP us other then give us fast information when we need it. The computer although has so much information and so many untrusted sites you never know if what your reading is a lie. And I hope I get 10 points because I just wasted my time answering this long question, I hope you weren’t just asking this for the heck of this — I hope it was for some essay lol.

      Take care bye

      View Comment
    • Bob
    • December 3, 2013
    Reply

    What Are Some Healthy Lifestyle Changes To Make? So I’ve started drinking more water. I drink Green, White, and Chai tea. I also bought the stainless steel water bottle, and I bike for about 20-30 minutes a day. I consider these healthy lifestyle changes. I was wondering if you could provide more suggestions along these lines.

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    1. Reply

      There are 5 elements in a healthy lifestyle.

      1. food
      2. exercise
      3. sleep
      4. happiness
      5. extra healthy things

      1. Food, we don’t really know that much about nutrition, we do know a blanced diet, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is good for you. Meat is pretty good, if it is lean and not eaten too often….ideally I might eat meat once or twice a week. A good healthy diet can include some indulgences.
      2. Exercise, you should do some. Though I don’t recommend routine exercise, cycle 2 or 3 times a week, join a social sports club, eg, tennis, go hiking on weekends, swimming is one of the best exercises for the whole body. If you vary your exercise, then you will enjoy it more and do more.
      3. Sleep. A lot of evidence says if you don’t get enough sleep you will have problems, eat more, metabolise your food differently and die young.
      4. Be happy, enjoy your life. Drink dance, eat chocolate, but not all day, everyday.
      5. Then there are all the little extras. eg, green tea (there is no such things as Chai tea….chai means tea, it is an indian word derived from the chinese word Cha, meaning tea), red wine, brocollie and beetroot, lots of things than can boost your body, ginger, garlice and hundreds of other things that you can add to your diet to make things a little better.

      Don’t obsess, don’t live by a book or a routine, just be healthy.

      View Comment
  3. Reply

    What Can Anyone Do To Promote A Healthy Lifestyle? What can institutions such as schools do and what can individuals do?
    What can the government put in place?
    What is the reason for the fact not a lot of people care about having a healthy lifestyle anymore?

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    1. Reply

      Schools can replace all or most of the canteen food with healthy options so they could replace chicken burger with tuna salad for example. Individuals can aim to eat 5 portions of fruit and veg a day and exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. The government can put a higher price up on junk food, therefore tempting more people to buy healthy food as it would become cheaper than it is now.

      The reason why people don’t care about a healthy lifestyle, is that junk food like burger and chips is quick and a convenience, as healthy meals takes time to prepare. Same with exercise maybe being time consuming and they have a busy schedule to be able to fit it all in.

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  4. Reply

    How Do You Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle? Please comment on your suggestions to maintain a healthy lifestyle, add any concerns or issues you have concerning you’re healt, and i’ll be happy to educate you further.

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    1. Reply

      I eat healthy – vegetables, fruit, lots of water, minimal sugar consumption, etc.
      I don’t smoke.
      I don’t drink in excess.
      I don’t do drugs.
      I exercise at least twice a week.
      I try to get enough sleep every night (minimum of 7 hours).

      View Comment
  5. Reply

    How To Keep A Healthy Lifestyle Up At School? I’ve recently started exercising and eating healthily, in order to achieve a healthy lifestyle, as well as lose weight. I go back to school in September, and I’ve been doing absolutely brilliantly so far. However, I’m definitely a stress eater, and especially with lots of exams coming up this and next year, I’m gonna be more stressed than ever. I don’t want to lose my progress or put all the weight back on. As well as this, I’m worried I won’t have time to work out as I’ll be tired from school in the daytime, so it could get difficult. Does anyone have any tips that could help me maintain what I’m doing for when I go back to school?

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