Fit and Fat is Better Than Thin and Unfit
by J. Foster
It seems that cardio-respiratory fitness is a better indicator of health than weight. In other words: you will live longer if you are fitter - even if you are overweight or even obese.
The research - published in the Journal of the American Medical Association - kept tabs on over 2,600 people aged 60 or over.
* Fit older men and women who were at a normal weight, overweight or even obese had a lower risk for death during the 12 years than unfit people at a normal weight.
* The least fit in the study had a death rate four times higher than the most fit.
* In most cases, the death rates for those with higher fitness levels were less than half of the rates for those who were unfit but weighed similar amounts.
"Being physically fit essentially neutralized the excess mortality risk associated with obesity whereas being unfit was independently associated with excess deaths regardless of body mass or other measures of adiposity [body fat]," (from US News)
We'll leave the last word to one of the study authors Steven Blair.
"You really can't tell if a person is fit by looking at them,"