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Exercise & Fitness

Overweight and healthy: the concept of metabolically healthy obesity

September 24, 2013
  • By Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

About the Author

photo of Patrick J. Skerrett

Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

Pat Skerrett is the editor of STAT's First Opinion and host of the First Opinion podcast. He is the former editor of the Harvard Health blog and former Executive Editor of Harvard Health Publishing. Before that, he was editor of … See Full Bio
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November 5, 2013

This information are very useful,thank you.

Harriet W. Tabron
October 28, 2013

When you are new to the training circuit, it is usually helpful to enlist the help of a personal trainer. The trainer will be able to guide you towards the exercises and routines that are best suited for your goals, and help you identify if you are over or under training.

sumeet kaul
October 28, 2013

havrd health is awesome

Andrew - Sleeppro
October 15, 2013

With regard sleep apnoea recent research conducted in France shows that if a person suffers from obstructive sleep apnoea, (OSA), they will have a much higher chance of developing diabetes.

Sleep apnoea can mean that a person will stop breathing many times during the night, often complaining the next day of a poor night’s sleep. Often people are not aware of having stopped breathing during their sleep.

The University of Angers, in western France, concluded that sleep apnoea is more often than not undiagnosed and therefore goes untreated, and it could well be one of the key causes in the development of diabetes.

If this sounds similar to your situation seek professional medical advice.

October 12, 2013

There is also the opposite problem of many people being underweight and struggling to put on weight. There is a lot of attention in society being put on people being overweight and on the concept of fat in general, but it is forgotten that there are people who would love to put on weight, but have problems doing it. In my opinion being obese is for most people a lifestyle choice (even if an subconscious one). Except for the minor percentage of people who are obese because of medical reasons, most people are obese because they eat junk, don’t do any physical activity and generally don’t take care of themselves.

I would like there to be more research done into people who are underweight and how they can put on weight. Since this is a pretty large percentage of the population, however no attention is being paid to them. There are of course ways of gaining healthy weight, with eating more than your maintenance amount of calories (a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats), a rigorous exercise regime composed of heavy compound lifts and also living a healthy life by for example getting a proper deep night’s sleep.


October 10, 2013

I agree with “Obesity isn’t good”

Jonathan Warner
October 9, 2013

sometimes it’s really easy to lose pounds. but for some time it turns out to see a specialist like me.

October 6, 2013

It’s easy to gain weight but very difficult to lose weight. As much as I try, I have 6months 3 or 4 times a week to the gym to do cardio for 1 hour, and got at most 3 kilos. I eliminated all fat meals but still not lose weight with it.


Jonathan Warner
October 9, 2013

It is not a rule! My wife was 98 Kg there are two months, she is now 87. But I want to reach 80 kg there three are years, I’m only 72.

Urgent Care Locations
October 3, 2013

I was actually just reading this morning through the various stats in each state about the % of their population that is obese. As scary as some of those statistics are (over 35% in Mississippi!), I still find it amazing how low of a threshold there is to be considered obese. I am 195 lbs and 5′ 9″ I and I am just on the boarder of being obese. Hard to believe because I have 34″ waist line! Seems like the continuum should allow for a bit more “give.”

October 1, 2013

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September 30, 2013

Nice article, I agree that obesity may lead to many issues in the future like diabetes and energy level. I think it is important to change the lifestyle and the eating habits. Try to eat low glycemic foods to keep the blood sugar balance and exercise regularly.

September 30, 2013

Nice article! here’s a tip to keep going: Have something to look forward to after you have exercised. If you really can’t find an activity you like, you may as well reward yourself with something nice after you have reached your targets. Complete your day’s exercise and THEN watch TV, listen to music, read or watch a film. Just try to avoid rewarding yourself with food or this will defeat the object of working hard to lose or maintain your weight.

Salveo Andaman Noni
September 30, 2013

Actually in today’s date most of the people suffers from fattiness and cholesterol problem its common in most of the people.Its not there fault in there busy schedule its very hard to maintain diet ,so its natura,l to happen like this but ,it can be prevented by taking Herbal medicine without any side effect.try Salveo Andaman Noni it helps to get more energy and controls blood pressure also .

Sheik Abdur Rashid
September 30, 2013

I am living in South Asia country known as Bangladesh.I am always in touch with Harvard health beat and receiving all the time some medical advise and exercise formula through where I can get physical fitness in all respect.But I am getting partial understanding instead of clear and complete clarification.So is it possible to discus more elaborately over those context by which I can get more benefit through your health beat discussion.Such as you are asking order for some special booklet over health beat. But I am unable to purchase.The world famous Harvard University can do me a favour. Is there any door open for me? waiting for your reply.

September 26, 2013

fatties gonna fat

Metabolism and Its Effects on Health and Fitness
September 25, 2013

The best way to lose weight is to increase your metabolism. Your metabolism manages, how fast and effectively you burn up energy and process food. The higher metabolism burns calories more efficiently and lose weight faster. There are many factors that affect the metabolic rate which are out of your control, such as, age, genetics and endocrine glands etc. Except these out of control factors there are many ways to boost up the metabolic rate. Metabolism and its effects have two aspects on health and fitness. Some factors are discussed below which help you to boost up the metabolism.

boxing exercises
September 24, 2013

Agree with “Obesity isn’t good, even if it’s the metabolically healthy kind.” we never now where this obesity will lead to.
muscle tissue can be enhance to be a burner fat machine when you find the right exercises combine with healthy diet plus healthy lifestyle.

metabolically healthy unicorn
September 24, 2013

Obesity isn’t good, but the issue here is that you still don’t know how to treat it properly because you are obsessed with the idea that long-term calorie restriction and strenous exercise is possible. Ask any long-term weight loss maintaner and most people slowly start to regain or have to dedicate their entire lives to fitness, usually by becoming a personal trainer. You can see this narrative over and over again. Obesity research is basically religion, and it will never be solved, as long as weight loss is the holy grail (not weight MAINTENANCE which is the hard part) and fat people aren’t seen as lazy, out of control gluttons.

The Harvard health review had a good opportunity here to tell their overweight and obese readers that they should aim for health changes *independent* of weight loss, and to aim for being “metaobolically healthy” but instead chose to parrot once again, that the mere state of being obese is what they should change.

Finally, most people who age — even if they are thin — have deteroriating health. That’s why it’s called aging. To imply that only fat people are at risk of this is wrong.

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