You can't be fat and fit


Many people struggle to lose weight but reason that if they stay relatively active, they aren't compromising their health. However, new research now claims that's not true and it's still healthier to be slim and unfit than heavier and active.

Swedish scientists at the Umeå University looked into the lives of 1.3 million men with an average age of 29 years, tracking them from 18 to adulthood. All men had joined the armed forces, which required them to undertake a fitness test. They had been weighed and measured at the time, which showed whether they were obese or not.

Professor Peter Nordstrom and his team checked the men's records to see who had passed away from illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. They found the men that were fit were far less likely to die than the inactive - unless they were overweight. Slim, inactive men were 30 per cent less likely to die than those who were fit but fat.

"Unfit normal-weight individuals had a 30 per cent lower risk of death from any cause than fit obese individuals," Professor Nordstrom said. "Low aerobic fitness in late adolescence is associated with an increased risk of early death.

"Furthermore, the risk of early death was higher in fit obese individuals than unfit normal weight individuals."

To conclude, the scientists believe having a low BMI is crucial to a long life.

The results were published in the Journal of Epidemiology.

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