When you have excess fat, but not excess weight: so are the metabolically thin obese

We have always thought that being thin is the opposite of being obese and that who is not overweight is a person who is in good health, however, it is possible to have excess fat but not excess weight: it is metabolically thin obese or obese of normal weight.

Weight and BMI vs Body fat

The weight does not say everything and the BMI that until now was the parameter used to diagnose the presence of obesity, according to the last consensus of the SEEDO, in the II Congress of Obesity and Metabolic Complications that celebrated in the Society for the Study of Obesity (SEEDO) and the Society of Surgery of Morbid Disease and Metabolic Diseases (SECO) last month questioned its usefulness.

Although the BMI correlates well at a massive level with the percentage of body fat, there are always people who can have a normal weight but be obese at the metabolic level. That is, the obese of normal weight or metabolically obese of normal weight are people who have a BMI less than 25 but have greater adiposity at abdominal-visceral level, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, lower level of physical activity and a profile atherogenic lipid, according to a study conducted by Canadian scientists. This last trait represents a dyslipidemia characterized by triglycerides, total and bad cholesterol or elevated LDL in blood together with good cholesterol or reduced HDL.

All these factors that characterize the obese of normal weight indicates that although they do not enter the category of obesity according to the BMI, they do have traits of this disease at the metabolic level and therefore, have a higher risk of suffering from diabetes as well as suffering from pathologies. cardiovascular.

The metabolically obese of normal weight then demonstrate that being “thin” does not mean being healthy and that, beyond weight, what matters are other parameters such as, for example, the percentage of body fat.

Thus, for years the number of truly obese people was perhaps underestimated, because in individuals of thin appearance this disease is also hidden. In fact, it is estimated that 3 out of 10 thinners are actually obese.

The key is to learn that weight does not say everything and that being thin is not synonymous with good health, because in time to detect a metabolically obese person of normal weight, much can be done to prevent diseases and promote good health, especially by instilling good habits of life, since healthy diet, regular exercise and other healthy behaviors can reverse the characteristics of an obese person in that body of normal weight.

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