A Swedish study of 1.3 million men found that being overweight but fit doesn’t seem to reduce any risk of heart disease and other illness.
Scientists claim that being “fat but fit” is merely a myth. The study suggests that if you are overweight, you are still at risk of disease. According to researchers, being slim is far “healthier” even if you are unfit.
The Swedish study of more than 1.3 million men challenges the notion that you can carry a few extra kilos as long as you exercise regularly.
Professor Peter Nordstrom, from Umea University, looked at the records of men spanning an average of 29 years from when they were 18.
All of those in the study were part of the armed forces and had to take a fitness test when they signed up. Measurements were also taken to determine who was overweight.
Professor Nordstrom and his team then looked at which participants had since died from illnesses including cancer and heart disease.
The study found that those who were fit were less likely than those who were inactive, but this was “cancelled out” if they were overweight.
The study found that men who were slim and inactive were 30 percent less likely to die than those who were fat but fit.
Professor Nordstrom said believes that a healthy body mass index (BMI) is far more important than simply being fit.
A previous study from the University of South Carolina in the US had found the opposite previously.