Share on Facebook
April 1, 2008
When it comes to avoiding heart disease, the standard advice is that we should stay in our healthy weight range. But here's a disheartening thought: Even at a normal weight, we might be obese.
Perhaps the safety zone should be a fat range instead. That's the suggestion of a study—being presented today at the American College of Cardiology meeting—that links so-called normal-weight obesity with risk factors like high blood cholesterol and metabolic syndrome. It's been known for a while that normal-weight people can have a higher-than-recommended percentage of body fat. A researcher in the U.K. calls these people "TOFIs," for "thin outside, fat inside." But this study found that despite falling within a healthy weight range for their height—a body mass index range of 18.5 to 24.9—more than 60 percent of study participants were too fat. (In other words, the men's body fat percentages exceeded 20 percent; the women's, 30 percent). And these folks were more likely to have risk factors for heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. You can calculate your own BMI here.