Further cardiovascular evidence suggests there is no such thing as “healthy obesity”

4d917aeb-655e-43d2-b73a-ce89f0bc4066articleimage.jpg

11 Sep 2017 --- Clinicians have been warned by the results of a University of Birmingham study not to ignore the increased cardiovascular health risks of those who are either classed as “healthy obese” or deemed to be “normal weight” while having metabolic abnormalities such as diabetes.

The study follows similar findings by a group of researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge last month, which suggest that being overweight or obese increases a person’s risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) by up to 28 percent compared to those with a healthy body weight, even if they have healthy blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

“These data confirm the importance our lifestyle plays in our health and the need for appropriate nutritional advice to help, ideally, prevent the development of overweight and obesity, but also as part of an approach to treating the problem,” senior author Professor Neil Thomas tells NutritionInsight. “The earlier it is addressed, the more likely it is to be successful.”

“Those who are successful in losing and, most importantly, maintaining the weight loss do so by a complete long-term change in their approach to life,” Thomas adds. “Simply ‘crash’ dieting is not the answer.”

Millions of records investigated
Academics at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Applied Health Research carried out the largest study of its kind to date comparing weight and metabolic status to cardiovascular disease risks, and it was published on 11 September in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The study showed that individuals who are “metabolically healthy obese” (MHO) – those who are obese but do not suffer metabolic abnormalities such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol – still have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease events compared to those who are normal weight without metabolic abnormalities.

The academics used electronic health records of 3.5 million British adults who were all initially free of cardiovascular disease (CVD). They then revisited each patient’s record, at an average of five years and four months later, in order to assess whether they had gone on to develop each of four kinds of CVD events – coronary heart disease (CHD), cerebrovascular disease (in particular strokes), heart failure or peripheral vascular disease (PVD).

Patients were divided into four “body size phenotypes” using Body Mass Index (BMI), which is calculated by dividing body weight (kg) by height (m) squared: underweight (BMI less than 18.5), normal weight (more than 18 but less than 25), overweight (more than 25 but less than 30) and obese (more than 30).

Three metabolic abnormalities were taken into consideration during the study: diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia. A metabolically healthy person was classified as having no metabolic abnormalities.

The results showed that those who were MHO had a 49 percent higher risk of coronary heart disease, 7 percent higher risk of cerebrovascular disease and a 96 percent increased risk of heart failure than normal weight metabolically healthy individuals.

Importantly, it also showed that “normal weight” individuals with one or more metabolic abnormalities had an increased risk of CHD, cerebrovascular disease, heart failure and PVD compared to normal weight individuals without metabolic abnormalities.

Questions to be asked
The research results raise further questions around the concept of “healthy obesity.” Whether metabolically healthy obesity is associated with excess risk of cardiovascular disease has remained a subject of debate for many years due to limitations in previous studies. Academics at the University of Birmingham sought to address these limitations in the largest prospective study of its kind.

“In our study, we had unprecedented statistical power to examine body size phenotypes by the number of metabolic abnormalities, potentially reflecting several definitions of the ‘metabolically healthy’ phenotype in relation to a range of CVD events,” says lead author and epidemiologist Dr. Rishi Caleyachetty of the Institute of Applied Health Research University of Birmingham. “Obese individuals with no metabolic risk factors are still at a higher risk of coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease and heart failure than normal weight metabolically healthy individuals.”

“So-called ‘metabolically healthy’ obesity is clearly not a harmless condition, and the term should no longer be used in order to prevent misleading individuals that obesity can be healthy,” Caleyachetty continues.

“Metabolically healthy obese and incident cardiovascular disease events among 3.5 million men and women” by Caleyachetty et al. is published in the Journal of The American College of Cardiology.

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

Gut bacteria sensitive to salt, linked to MS and hypertension: study

20 Nov 2017 --- Common salt reduces the number of certain lactic acid bacteria in the gut of mice and humans. This is according to a study published in the journal Nature by Berlin's Max Delbrück Center and Charité, which further notes an impact on immune cells that are partly responsible for autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS) and hypertension. Probiotics were also found to ameliorate the symptoms of disease in mice.

Nutrition & Health News

Weight management – Keeping the kilos off (Part 3): Trends, innovation and strong opinions

17 Oct 2017 --- Weight management is a hot topic in the nutrition industry, and NutritionInsight has solicited the views of medical professionals and industry insiders on the next steps to take. Today, in the final part of a special report, we share the trends in the industry, some new R&D and expert opinions in the space in general.

Nutrition & Health News

BASF Newtrition Omega-3 launches Accelon absorption-accelerating technology

17 Nov 2017 --- Newtrition Omega-3 has announced the global launch of Accelon, an omega 3 absorption-accelerating technology that the company says has the potential to be the biggest category innovation since the introduction of high-concentrate omega 3s in the late 1980s.

Nutrition & Health News

Advanced Lipids’ Infat shows strong bone growth potential for infants

17 Nov 2017 --- Advanced Lipids’ SN-2 infant formula ingredient Infat may have the potential to support healthy bone growth, a study has shown. The study published in Nutrients may be especially interesting for children with special nutritional needs, among others.

Nutrition & Health News

Researchers highlight risks associated with energy drinks, call for policy changes

17 Nov 2017 --- The advertised short-term benefits of energy drinks can be outweighed by serious health risks – which include risk-seeking behavior, mental health problems, increased blood pressure, obesity and kidney damage. This is according to a new review of current scientific knowledge on energy drinks published in Frontiers in Public Health. To curb this growing public health issue, policymakers should regulate sales and marketing towards children and adolescents and set upper limits on caffeine, the researchers say.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/further-cardiovascular-evidence-suggests-there-is-no-such-thing-as-healthy-obesity.html