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Being overweight may not necessarily be bad for health

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Overweight individuals are often warned to seek cholesterol testing for fears that they may be at risk for heart attack or other adverse events. However, a new study out of York University suggests that obese people may be just as healthy on the whole as their slimmer peers.

The researchers reported in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism that obese individuals are no more likely to develop heart disease than the non-obese. The findings are based on a 16-year study of more than 6,000 obese people. The results generated by the study were used to compare the health of overweight and slim people.

"Our findings challenge the idea that all obese individuals need to lose weight," says lead author Jennifer Kuk. "Moreover, it's possible that trying - and failing - to lose weight may be more detrimental than simply staying at an elevated body weight."

However, she added that a person should still make efforts to eat more fruits and vegetables and get plenty of exercise. While carrying some extra fat may not in and of itself be detrimental, a lifestyle that encourages weight gain could take a toll on heart health and lead to high cholesterol levels.

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