Is it possible to be fit and fat at the same time?

Researchers at Albert Einstein College found that despite their weight, nearly a third of obese people are not at high risk of diabetes or heart disease.

OK, not exactly a ringing endorsement in favor of obesity, but how about this…

A recent German study found that for normal and overweight people, excess belly fat is a strong link to heart disease and diabetes. However, for their obese cousins, belly fat is not such a big deal. For the obese, a fatty liver is a more accurate risk factor.

According to this study, obese people who get at least moderate physical exercise tend to have less fatty livers.

OK, here we go.

Fit and fat!

According to Dr. Wylie-Rosett (Albert Einstein College): “In our study, the obese people with better risk profiles tended to have more physical activity. And the normal-weight people with worse risk factors tended to have characteristics associated with lower physical activity levels.”

  • Alright, now we’re getting somewhere.
  • Maybe it is possible for obese people to be fit.
  • Maybe fitness is more than having a six-pack.
Beer belly....Six pack???
Beer belly….Six pack???

Maybe fitness means not having visceral fat around your internal organs, improving insulin sensitivity, having a healthy blood pressure, along with well developed aerobic and anaerobic energy systems.

How about we throw in some quality of life factors like enough muscular strength and balance to go about your daily activities without the aid of an electric scooter.


So what is it?

Can you be fit and fat?

My answer:

  • Yes…in theory. It is possible to carry excess fat and still be healthy as a result of a complete fitness program.
  • No…in reality. While there is a slim minority of people who gain excess fat due to a medical condition, the vast majority of obese people are obese as a result of their lifestyle. They eat too much and move too little. Until they change these habits, the resultant obesity will have a negative impact upon their health.