Obese people may be healthier than they look, study finds

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Exercise may be even more important than the numbers on the scale for obese people looking to be healthier, a new study out of York University in Toronto has found.

The researchers gathered data from 853 patients with various levels of obesity, from mild to severe. Even the most severely obese patients who exercised had lower blood pressure, glucose and triglyceride levels compared to those who didn’t exercise much.

In the study published in Obesity, 41 percent of the patients who were mildly obese were considered fit via a treadmill test. A quarter of the moderately obese patients were fit, and just 11 percent of the severely obese patients were fit. Researchers found that it didn’t matter how obese they were when they looked at the patients’ metabolic variables.

It’s the first study to show that no matter how obese a person is, physical fitness can have positive effects on cardiovascular health, despite a person’s waistline, according to the authors.

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