Does Being Slimmer Really Equal Being Healthier?

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Does Being Slimmer Really Equal Being Healthier? featured image

“Being thin doesn’t automatically mean you’re not fat.” The quote may not make much sense at first glance, but that’s what London professor and researcher Dr. Jimmy Bell told the Associated Press, regarding his team’s study of fat storage around vital organs. And doctors around the world are agreeing.

Bell’s research-which involves MRI “fat mapping”-shows that some seemingly thin people have excessive internal fat that, though invisible on the outside, could be just as unhealthy as the more obvious external fat on overweight people.

“Just because someone is lean doesn’t make them immune to diabetes or other risk factors for heart disease,” Dr. Louis Teichholz, chief of cardiology at Hackensack Hospital in New Jersey, told the AP.

These physicians are concerned that people who appear slender won’t realize they can be at risk for fat-related problems. Body Mass Index scores typically do not reflect the fact that many seemingly thin people are borderline obese on the inside. In fact, an active overweight person, such as a Sumo wrestler, is probably much healthier than a thin but sedentary person.

Canadian obesity expert Dr. Bob Ross recommends healthier living, whether or not you shop in the plus-size section. “Even if you don’t see it on your bathroom scale, caloric restriction and physical exercise have an aggressive effect on visceral fat.”

Bell echoes Ross’s advice: “If you just want to look thin, then maybe dieting is enough. But if you want to actually be healthy, then exercise has to be an important component of your lifestyle.”

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