Some obese people have no greater risk of cardiovascular disease or cancer than normal-weight people, a new study suggests.
Moreover, for patients with heart disease, being obese may actually reduce the risk of death, a phenomenon called the "obesity paradox," another study finds.
"It is possible to be fat and fit -- but relatively few people are," said Dr. David Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine. He took no part in either study.
"For the most part, the behaviors that promote fitness most effectively defend against fatness into the bargain. It is certainly possible to be thin and unhealthy, which is why health, not a particular weight, is what we should be aiming for as both individuals and a society," he said.
Both reports were published online Sept. 5 in the European Heart Journal.
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