They really are beautiful, and sexy, those women in the Cacique ads. Nothing appears wrong with them: How can beautiful and sexy be unhealthy? Well, the bottom line is that being overweight is not healthy. As cute as she might be, that full-figured gal is in reality a femme fatale, whose inability to count (and control) calories may lead to disease, potentially leaving her and her loved ones the direct and indirect victims of diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease.
This reality was brought home to readers of a recent article in “Annals of Internal Medicine,” which concluded that there is no such thing as healthy obesity. This declaration was based on a meta-analysis of eight studies, involving over 60,000 adults followed for over 10 years, the researchers analyzing the incidence of cardiovascular disease or all-cause mortality, and comparing outcomes for metabolically unhealthy (high blood sugar or high blood pressure, for example) and metabolically healthy individuals of various weights with outcomes for metabolically healthy individuals of normal weight.
Metabolically healthy obese individuals were found to have almost a 25% higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death from any cause compared to metabolically healthy individuals of normal weight. And although clinically obvious poor health was not noted before 10 years, the researchers did find that excess weight is associated with early vascular disease, chronic inflammation, and thickening and calcification of the arteries. Of course, these vascular insults over time result in the manifestations of cardiovascular disease, including death. Shorter observation periods in similar studies led to the past, erroneous conclusions that there is such a thing as “healthy” obesity.