Can You Be Fat and Fit?

While we often associate fat with anything that is bad in our body, there are people who look bigger than usual yet live an active lifestyle. There are football players, shot putters, hunters, and other people who do not let their large size deter their performance.

So it begs to question: is it possible to be fat and stay fit? Health magazine asked two experts and their opinions are clashing to say the least.

“Yes, it is a worthy goal!” — Steven Blair, PED; professor of exercise science, epidemiology, and biostatistics at the University of South Carolina

According to Blair, being fat and fit is better than being thin and malnourished. “Overweight people who exercise just 150 minutes a week have half the risk of mortality of normal-weight people who don’t exercise at all,” he said in his research. However, that statement is untrue if the person is obese. He emphasized that weight alone does not raise risks from diseases, but lack of fitness. Blair cited one study where half of overweight adults and one-third of obese people who lived an active lifestyle had normal blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar.

“Exercise alone is not enough.” — Frank Hu, MD, PhD; professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health

For Hu, there is no such thing as “obese and fit,” unless they are pro athletes or very muscular, wherein their muscle mass would explain their high BMI. (Yes, even muscular people can be considered obese if their BMI is above 30.) Fitness levels of most people with a BMI of 30 or more is reduced by their weight. They also remain at risk of conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Hu added that while physical activity is important, we should also watch what we eat.

Source: Health

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