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Can You Be Overweight or Obese, But Still Healthy? – NO

A new review, conducted at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, analyzed eight previous studies from the past decade. Researchers concluded that obesity consistently carries a higher risk of cardiovascular issues and premature death.

Despite the normal metabolic readings, the review found that an obese person had a 24% higher risk of experiencing cardiovascular events (like a heart attack or stroke) or premature death compared to an individual with normal weight. A person who was overweight, but not obese, had a 21% greater risk.

“We found that obesity stood out as the key risk factor for premature death from any cause, including cardiovascular events,” study co-author Bernard Zinman, MD, Senior Investigator at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, said in a news release. “That’s true for obese people with so-called healthy metabolic status as well as obese people with poor metabolic status.”

That’s an important finding from a policy perspective, says the study’s lead author,  Caroline Kramer, MD, PhD, a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute. The notion that health care resources don’t need to be directed toward obese individuals whose lab tests are ‘normal’, she says, is simply mistaken.

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