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Researchers dispel the 'fat but fit' myth
A new study reveals that the negative affects of obesity cannot
be canceled out by increasing fitness levels, UPI reports.
The study is published in the International Journal of
For the study, the researchers at Umeå University in Sweden
analyzed data on 1.3 million Swedish men. The participants were
followed from the years 1969 to 1996, and their aerobic fitness
was measured by an electrically braked cycle test.
Based on a mean follow-up of 29 years, the study revealed that
men in the highest fifth of aerobic fitness had a 48 percent
lower risk of death from any cause, as compared to the lowest
fifth of men.
The researchers reported that aerobic fitness was associated
with reduced risk for death in normal and overweight men.
However, the benefits of fitness were lower in obese men. Unfit
normal-weight men had a 30 percent lower risk of death from any
cause than obese men.
Peter Nordström, a researcher at Umea University, said that a
link was also found between low aerobic fitness and death from
However, he added that that "genetic factors could have
influenced these associations given that aerobic fitness is
under strong genetic control."
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