Obesity has been strongly associated with several chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke. There is also strong evidence that physical inactivity is also associated with increased rates of the same chronic conditions.

This study compared the risk of developing various illnesses between two groups of people.

Group 1: Obese & highly active
Group 2: Normal weight & inactive

Here are the 6 most fascinating findings from this study. Compared to the normal weight & inactive, the obese & highly active individuals…

1. Were still more likely to have hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes …BUT…
2. Did NOT have greater risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer or COPD
3. Had decreased risk for stroke
4. Had greater risk for developing asthma
5. Had greater risk for developing arthritis
6. Had greater risk for developing depression (why??)
So what can we conclude?

1. Being “normal” weight and inactive does not protect the person from cardiovascular disease.

2. Obese individuals will still benefit from becoming active, even if there is not weight loss.

3. Obese individuals may perhaps participate in less aggressive or intense activities to reduce the risk of developing symptoms of asthma & arthritis.


Reference: Pharr JR et al An assessment of the relationship of physical activity, obesity, and chronic diseases/conditions between active/obese and sedentary/ normal weight American women in a national sample. Public Health. 2018 Mar;156:117-123.

Active Obese

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