Obese Not Alone in Risk of Heart Problems

by Ryan Halvorson on Jul 01, 2008

Making News

The perception that people of “normal weight” are necessarily healthier than their overweight cohorts is wearing thin. According to a press release from the Mayo Clinic, adults with a regular body mass index (BMI)—used to define normal weight—may still be at risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

The press release comes on the heels of a Mayo Clinic study involving 2,127 men and women with normal BMI. Their body composition was measured, and they were tested for metabolic and heart disease risk factors. Of the subjects studied, more than 50% were found to be “normal-weight obese,” having “significantly higher rates of several alterations in blood chemistry that can negatively affect heart and metabolism health.” This evidence suggests that normal-weight adults may be vulnerable to the same health issues as their obese counterparts and should not overlook potential problems.

“Our study demonstrates that even people with normal weight may have excessive body fat, and that these people are at risk for metabolic abnormalities that lead to diabetes and, eventually, to heart disease,” stated Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, MD, a cardiologist on the Mayo Clinic research team. The researchers urged a shift in testing measures used to determine who is healthy and who is not. According to the press release, measuring belly fat or percent body fat may be more reliable than using only body weight and BMI.

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About the Author

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson IDEA Author/Presenter

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor.