Obese People Can Be Healthy

BY KATHRYN MAYER
Source: benefitspro.com

 

Here’s some news to justify having (and not caring about) some extra pounds: Being fat doesn’t necessarily mean you’re unhealthy.

New research finds that people can be obese yet physically healthy, while having no greater risk for heart disease or cancer than people of normal weight.

“It is well known that obesity is linked to a large number of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular problems and cancer. However, there appears to be a sub-set of obese people who seem to be protected from obesity-related metabolic complications,” lead study author Francisco Ortega said in a statement. “They may have greater cardio-respiratory fitness than other obese individuals, but, until now, it was not known the extent to which these metabolically healthy but obese people are at lower risk of diseases or premature death.”

Researchers analyzed data from 43,265 participants in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study, which was done between 1979 and 2003.

About 30 percent of the study participants were labeled obese. Of the obese, nearly half were considered “metabolically healthy.” Metabolic health is determined by several factors including high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol and high fasting glucose levels.

Researchers found that the metabolically healthy but obese participants had a 38 percent lower risk of dying than their metabolically unhealthy peers. There was also no risk difference between the metabolically healthy obese and the metabolically healthy normal weight participants.

The results were published this week in the European Heart Journal.

"Physicians should take into consideration that not all obese people have the same prognosis,” Ortega said. “Physicians could assess fitness, fatness and metabolic markers to do a better estimation of the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer of obese patients. Our data support the idea that interventions might be more urgently needed in metabolically unhealthy and unfit obese people, since they are at a higher risk. This research highlights once again the important role of physical fitness as a health marker.”

 


Workforce Obesity: What Can You Do?

Source: http://safetydailyadvisor.blr.com

What can you do to help workers maintain a healthy weight and keep your bottom line healthy at the same time? Read about a company that's helping its workers lose tons of weight.

 

Employees of Health Care Services Corporation (HCSC) lost more than 53,000 pounds last year. HCSC is the owner and operator of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.

According to Senior Vice President Dr. Paul Handel, that amount tops the company’s 20-ton weight-loss goal. A robust wellness program including fitness centers, classes, and healthy cafeteria food are part of the solution.

"Many employers have viewed wellness programs as a nice extra when times are flush," says Handel. "We believe that the obesity epidemic and the rising toll of diabetes now make them a strategic imperative."

Financial incentives are an important part of the HCSC strategy. In addition to tying wellness to annual bonuses, the company offers employees additional incentives of up to $200 a year for taking an annual wellness exam and logging their physical activity.

Great news! BLR's renowned Safety.BLR.com® website now has even more timesaving features.

 

Other Strategies

The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, says the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), isn't about short-term dietary changes. It's about a lifestyle that includes:

·         Healthy eating;

·         Regular physical activity; and

·         Balancing the number of calories consumed with the number of calories the body uses.

According to CDC the first step in maintaining a healthy weight is to look at the current situation. Body Mass Index (BMI) is one way to measure weight. BMI calculations are based on height and weight:

·         A BMI of 18.5 signifies being underweight.

·         The range between 18.5 and 24.4 is considered to be a normal weight.

·         The range between 24.5 and 29.9 is considered to be overweight.

·         A BMI between 30 and 40 is considered to be obese.

·         BMI of 40 and greater is considered to be morbid or extreme obesity.

Your employees can calculate their BMI by going to


CDC's website
.