Last year I posted this information to the Gaitway Chiropractic facebook page and I wanted to bring it up again in this health blog.
In a recent meta-analysis (Barry et al 2014) researchers asked the question, " Which is a better predictor for death by all causes, cardiorespiratory fitness or fatness measured by one's BMI?" A meta-analysis is a study looking at a collection of other studies asking the same question in order to give a weighted average of the total effect.
They determined that:
- a normal weight, unfit person is 2.42 times more likely to die than a normal weight, fit person;
- an overweight, unfit person is 2.14 times more likely to die than a normal weight, fit person;
- an overweight, fit person is ONLY 1.13 times more likely to die than a normal weight, fit person;
- an obese, unfit person is 2.46 times more likely to die than a normal weight, fit person;
- and an obese, fit person is ONLY 1.21 times more likely to die than a normal weight, fit person.
Bottom line conclusion from this article I think is we should be focused more on lifestyle modifications which include an increase in physical activity to be fit. This would improve a person's cardiorespiratory fitness and perhaps we should not be focusing too much on weight loss driven approaches to health.
But let us not get carried away here. We know that being overweight and obese does increase your risk for disease. In another recent study (Vistisen et al 2014) of 6705 people, 35 to 55 years old, and an average follow up of 14 years, the researchers saw that 645 of those people developed diabetes. Of those 645 people, 94% were actually in the staying overweight group, 2% were in the progressively gaining weight group, and 4% were in the persistently obese group. The 6060 participants who remained free of diabetes were characterized by a mean BMI of just below 25 that rose only gradually over the follow-up period.
At first glance it would appear that this second study possibly contradicts the first one and that being overweight and obese should be areas of concern. However, without knowing more information about the typical eating and exercise habits of the people in the second study it is difficult to correlate the two. Perhaps those who didn't get diabetes in the second study was due to the GRADUAL rise in BMI over the 14 years. It makes me wonder if these people were engaging in regular physical activity and if the people who got diabetes were mostly sedentary people.
Hopefully you will find this information to be informative and most importantly motivating to live a healthy life by staying active and eating well. If you have any questions about how Dr. Wilson's expertise in Chiropractic, health, or sports medicine, please call Gaitway Chiropractic in north Spokane at (509) 466-1366, request an appointment online, or come by the clinic at 8611 N Division St, Ste A, Spokane, WA 99208.
Barry, Vaughn W., Meghan Baruth, Michael W. Beets, J. Larry Durstine, Jihong Liu, and Steven N. Blair. "Fitness vs. Fatness on All-Cause Mortality: A Meta-Analysis." Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases 56.4 (2014): 382-90.
Vistisen, Dorte, Daniel Witte, Adam Tabak, Christian Herder, Eric Brunner, Mika Kivimaki, and Kristine Faerch. "Patterns of Obesity Development before the Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes: The Whitehall II Cohort Study." PLoS Medicine 11.2 (2014): E1001602