So if you are overweight but you are also fit, do you erase the added risk of heart disease that carrying extra weight is said to add to your life?
No, according to a study from Imperial College London’s School of Public Health and published in the August 14 issue of the European Heart Journal.
In this study that covered participants from several different European countries for more than 12 years follow-up, researchers compared 10,000 people who didn’t have heart problems with slightly more than 7600 people who had known cardiovascular disease, and the researchers concluded that excess weight is a problem for your heart no matter how fit you think you are.
In other words, no matter how many or how few risk factors these study participants had for heart disease – they had high blood pressure, for example, or abnormal cholesterol levels, or diabetes, and so on – those people who were overweight had a higher chance of suffering a heart attack or dying suddenly from a heart problem than people with similar cardiac risks but who were also thin or at normal weight.
Bottom line: although some studies have claimed to show that if you are fat you are still OK in terms of your heart – so long as you also maintain a good level of cardiovascular fitness – this study found that is likely not true.