Dr Manny's Notes

‘Fat Is Fit’ Study Sends Wrong Message to Public

Every now and then, I come across a study that makes a claim so ridiculous, I feel compelled to address it.

I’m talking about a recent study that indicates fat people can be just as healthy as slim people, as long as they have no chronic health problems.

The study followed 6,000 obese people over a 16-year period and found they lived just as long and suffered less cardiovascular problems than their slim counterparts, leading the researchers to conclude that fat could indeed by healthy.

Let me put this to you straight: This study is a load of bunk, and frankly, it’s sending a terrible message to the public.

Health-wise, it’s not OK to be obese. While the researchers say obese people do not appear to have as many cardiovascular problems, there are still many other chronic diseases associated with being overweight.

Among those, people who are overweight are at greater risk for type 2 diabetes, which can take many years to develop, or arthritis. Both can have a severely negative impact on quality of life and longevity.

The fact is, medically, it is necessary for all humans to strive to be at an ideal body weight. Sure, there are plenty of skinny, sick people out there, but their health issues would probably be compounded if they had excess body weight to deal with as well.

One good thing the study did recommend was that obese people keep up an active lifestyle. I agree that maintaining a fitness regimen can help in many ways, including aiding with weight loss.

It’s not OK to settle for being above a healthy weight. People should all fight to reach their ideal weight. Trust me, I’m certainly familiar with that fight myself, and I hope my efforts will pay off in the end.

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Click here for more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center. Visit AskDrManny.com for more.