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Obesity More Dangerous than Lack of Fitness, Study

Update Date: Dec 29, 2015 10:06 AM EST

A recent study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology has nulled the idea of 'fat but fit'. In fact, the results from the new study suggest that the positive impact of high fitness in case of early deaths decline substantially in obese people. Even though the harmful effects of poor aerobic fitness have been studied over a period of time, this research was performed in older people. There have been very few studies that investigate a connection between young healthy populations and aerobic fitness. The Swedish academics followed 1, 317,713 men of an average of 29 years to understand the link between aerobic fitness and death that happened at a later stage in life, with regards to how obesity impacts these results. The results were tested on the participants by asking them to cycle until they had to stop because of fatigue, as reported by Eureka Alert.

According to the observation of the researchers, men who belonged to the highest fifth of aerobic fitness had lower death risk by as much as 48% as compared to the ones who belonged to the lowest fifth. Stronger links were established for cause of deaths related to substance abuse, suicide and narcotics. The researchers also witnessed a strong link between low aerobic fitness and deaths caused by trauma, said Economic Times.

Peter Nordstrom, the co-author, had no explanation for these results, "We could only speculate, but genetic factors could have influenced these associations given that aerobic fitness is under strong genetic control." The study also evaluated the 'fat but fit' concept. They revealed that the men who had normal weight, despite their fitness levels, had lower death risk as compared to obese people with high fitness levels. In this study, the positive impact of high aerobic fitness did reduce the risk of increased obesity and the ones who were extremely obese had no effect at all, according to Dispatch Tribunal

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