Obese people who are otherwise healthy live as long as normal-weight people, new research from Canada suggests.
Some obese but healthy people actually are less likely to die of heart problems than normal-weight people who have some medical conditions, the researchers found.
“You shouldn’t just look at body weight alone,” says researcher Jennifer Kuk, PhD, assistant professor of kinesiology and health science at York University in Toronto.
“A healthy lifestyle, including being physically active and eating a healthy diet, is probably more important than your body weight and focusing on weight loss, if you are otherwise healthy,” she tells WebMD.
Kuk and her colleagues used a new tool that helps identify which people would benefit from weight loss and from weight loss surgery. Called the Edmonton Obesity Staging System (EOSS), it grades or stages obese people depending on whether they have diseases such as heart disease or cancer.