Obesity does not necessarily mean poor health

Staff - xinhuanet.com - 08/16/2011
Body and Brain

BEIJING, Aug. 16 (Xinhuanet) -- It is widely accepted that obesity leads to an increased risk of health complications, but new studies quoted by media Tuesday challenge the conventional notion.

“Our studies challenge the idea that all obese individuals need to lose weight,” said Dr. Jennifer Kuk, assistant professor in York University’s School of Kinesiology & Health Science in Toronto.

One of the studies used data from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study consisting of 29,533 individuals and assessed their mortality in 16 years.

It found no difference in death risks between normal-weight individuals and obese ones. "Since the obese people did not have greater risk of dying than normal weight individuals, they don’t need to lose weight," said Dr. Kuk.

But the finding did not give obese individuals a “free license” to gain weight, Dr. Kuk added. Maintaining weight, eating right and exercising may be better than trying to lose weight in the long run, said Dr. Kuk.

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