December 02, 2013
Healthy Obesity Is A Myth

Obese but with low blood pressure and good lipid profile? Healthy Obesity does not exist. That is from a meta study by Canadian researchers. Some researchers in Texas published similar findings a couple of weeks ago: The damage is being done.

"Unfortunately, our findings suggest metabolically healthy obesity is not a benign condition," said the study's corresponding author, Carlos Lorenzo, MD, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas. "Regardless of their current metabolic health, people who are obese face an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes in the future."

Researchers analyzed prospective data from the San Antonio Heart Study, a population-based study of Mexican Americans and Caucasians, to assess incidence of diabetes in 2,814 participants and cardiovascular disease incidence in 3,700 participants. The SAHS study followed up with participants for a period lasting between six and 10 years. The analysis examined whether the risk of developing diabetes or heart disease was different for normal weight people who had at least two metabolic conditions or metabolically healthy obese people.

What would be the effect of wearing 50 pounds of weights outside your body as you go thru life? Probably beneficial on net. Though maybe more joint injuries. But fat tissue releases lots of hormones into the blood. In particular one hormone released by adipose tissue causes the liver to produce too much glucose. This leads to type 2 diabetes.

The ability of one organ—in this case, the adipose tissue—to so directly and profoundly control the actions of another—the liver —is in itself very exciting, said Hotamisligil. "We suspect this communication system between adipose tissue and liver may have evolved to help fat cells command the liver to supply the body with glucose in times of nutrient deprivation. However, when the engorged fat cells lose control over this signal in obesity, the blood levels of aP2 rise, glucose is poured into the bloodstream and cannot be cleared by other tissues. The result is high blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetes.

We need some great biotechnology for regulating appetite.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2013 December 02 08:31 PM 

Megira said at December 3, 2013 6:26 AM:

Why not chemically intervene to decrease the signaling activity of the adipose tissue? This would probably be an easier intervention than regulating appetite, and will enable people to enjoy a higher quality of life.

Brett Bellmore said at December 8, 2013 8:28 AM:

I'm not so sure it's appetite, precisely, that needs to be regulated. Though that would help.

Clearly, obesity is not, generally, a result of failure to regulate your calorie intake. Your calorie/energy balance is regulated to exquisite precision, to within 10's of calories a day. The problem is that your body mass set-point tends to continually drift upwards during your lifetime.

I suspect it's a matter of evolution in your population of fat cells. They evolve to game the body's regulatory mechanisms, to increase their own numbers. Kind of a toned down version of cancer. Maybe a form of chemo targeted at fat cells would help. That, and converting white to brown fat.

Matthew Wolfinbarger said at December 24, 2013 2:10 PM:

Fat is unattractive for a reason...I've always carried a little extra weight, usually below the threshold of obesity. But I'm trying to get rid of it as much as possible. The more I learn the more it seems that fat is not good--and that being ultra-lean and highly active really is the healthiest way to be (I've always liked women with 12-15% or so body fat...even though that is quite low for females.

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