Fit & Fat? Study Says No!

A new study disputes the myth that active overweight women can still be healthy and not face the risk of heart disease. A recent study determined that being active can reduce heart risks for overweight women but that doesn’t make them healthy. The weight of the woman still matters according to a female heart specialist.

Participants were women aged 54 on average who filled out a questionnaire at the study’s start detailing their height, weight and amount of weekly physical activity in the past year, including walking, jogging, bicycling and swimming. They were then tracked for about 11 years. Overall 948 women developed heart disease.

Women were considered active if they followed government-recommended guidelines and got at least 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week, including brisk walking or jogging. Women who got less exercise than that were considered inactive.

Weight was evaluated by BMI (body mass index). A BMI of 25 – 29 is considered overweight; a BMI of 30 and higher is considered obese. When compared with active healthy-weight women, the risk of the active overweight women developing heart disease was 54% higher. For active obese women the risk of developing heart disease was 87% higher.

For overweight women who are inactive, the risk increased to 88% of developing heart disease. For inactive obese women, the risk increased to 2 1/2 times more than that for the obese active women.

That is a huge difference between the active and inactive overweight women, so exercise definitely makes a big difference.