Obese people can be physically healthy and fit and at no greater risk of heart disease or cancer than normal weight people, a new research found.
The key is being “metabolically fit”, meaning no high blood pressure, cholesterol or raised blood sugar, and exercising, according to experts.
Looking at data from over 43,000 US people they found that being overweight per se did not pose a big health risk.
The results are published in the European Heart Journal.
In the study at the University of South Carolina, more than a third of the participants were obese.
Of these 18,500, half were assessed as metabolically healthy after a physical examination and lab tests.
Obese people can be physically healthy and fit and at no greater risk of heart disease or cancer than normal weight people
This subset of metabolically healthy obese people who did not suffer from conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, were generally fitter and exercised more than the other obese people.
And their risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer was identical to people of ideal weight and was half that of “metabolically less fit” obese people.
Lead researcher Dr. Francisco Ortega, who currently works at the University of Granada in Spain, said the findings show that getting more exercise can keep you healthier, even if you still carry a bit of extra weight.
“This research highlights once again the important role of physical fitness as a health marker.”
Most of the men and women in the study came from a similar background, meaning the results may not apply to everyone. They were mostly Caucasian, well educated, and worked in executive or professional positions.
Customs officials in South Korea have discovered thousands of pills filled with powdered human flesh coming from China, it was revealed today.
South Korea says it will increase customs inspections targeting capsules containing powdered human flesh.
The Korea Customs Service said it had found almost 17,500 of the capsules being smuggled into the country from China since August 2011.
The powdered flesh, which officials said came from dead babies and foetuses, is reportedly thought by some to cure disease and boost stamina.
But officials said the capsules were full of bacteria and a health risk.
“It was confirmed those capsules contain materials harmful to the human body, such as super bacteria. We need to take tougher measures to protect public health,” a customs official was quoted as saying by the Korea Times.
The powdered flesh, which officials said came from dead babies and foetuses, is reportedly thought by some to cure disease and boost stamina
The San Francisco Times reported that tests carried out on the pills confirmed they were made up of 99.7% human remains.
Inspections are to be stepped up on shipments of drugs arriving from north-east China, Yonhap news agency reported.
The Dong-a Ilbo newspaper said that capsules were being dyed or switched into boxes of other drugs in a bid to disguise them.
Some of the capsules were found in travelers’ luggage and some in the post, customs officials said.
Allegations that human flesh capsules were being trafficked from north-east China into South Korea emerged last year in a South Korean television documentary.
At the time China’s Health Ministry said it was investigating the claims raised by the programme.
Ministry spokesman Deng Haihua, quoted at the time in China Daily, said China had “strict management of disposal of infant and foetal remains as well as placentas”.
“Any practice that handles the remains as medical waste is strictly prohibited,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.