Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Obese Doesn’t Always Mean Unhealthy, UMDNJ Research Shows

“…metabolically healthy obese individuals may represent as much as 20 to 30 percent of obese population…

From the 17 June Medical News Today Web page

It’s become an axiom of health that overweight and obese people are not as healthy as their normal weight counterparts. In fact, obesity has been targeted as one of the country’s most serious public health problems, with predictions of widespread heart disease, diabetes and cancer among the growing number of Americans who are overweight. But what if that’s not always correct? Is it possible for some people to be overweight or even obese and still be healthy? Researchers from the Weight Management Services Program at the UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine think so, and they have some surprising statistics to back that opinion up.

The researchers analyzed the records of 454 individuals who were seen as patients at the medical school. Each of the individuals in the study had a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30, a standard for defining obesity, and the group’s average body fat percentage was over 46 percent. The UMDNJ analysis revealed a distinct sub-group of 135 metabolically healthy obese (MHO) individuals who, despite their high BMIs and body fat percentages, had essentially none of the measureable health risks high blood pressure or elevated blood sugar or cholesterol levels normally associated with obesity. Another sub-group of 167 individuals was categorized as medically unhealthy obese (MUO) because their corresponding results for the same measurements indicated an elevated risk for chronic disease.

“Our results indicate that metabolically healthy obese individuals may represent as much as 20 to 30 percent of obese population,” [Flahiff’s emphasis]  said Dr. Adarsh Gupta, director of Weight Management Services at the UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine, who, along with Dr. Gwynn Coatney, conducted the research. “This highlights the need for clinicians to be cautious when using obesity as a criterion for prescribing treatment. Researchers, too, need to be careful to distinguish between the metabolically healthy and metabolically unhealthy when analyzing data involving a group of obese individuals.”

Partners Home Page

A collaboration of U.S. government agencies, public health organizations and health sciences libraries

A related Web site – Obesity (Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce)

From the press release

A new topic page on Obesity is now available on PHPartners.org at http://phpartners.org/obesity.html.

The topic page links to obesity information and resources including government, professional and research organizations that focus obesity issues; reports, publications and guidelines; obesity programs and campaigns; child obesity information; data and statistics; legislation and policy issues; grants and funding opportunities; training and continuing education; and upcoming conferences and events.

The Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce, PHPartners.org<http://phpartners.org/>, is a collaboration of U.S. government agencies, public health organizations, and health sciences libraries. The mission of PHPartners is to help the public health workforce find and use information effectively to improve and protect the public’s health.

PHPartners.org welcomes suggestions of new links to post. Please suggest links at http://phpartners.org/suggestlink.html.

To keep up-to-date with public health news and online information resources, you can subscribe to the PHPartners RSS feed at http://phpartners.org/rss_phpartners.xml, or to the weekly email announcement list at http://list.nih.gov/cgi-bin/wa.exe?SUBED1=phpartners_link&A=1.


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June 20, 2011 - Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , ,

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