A new editor of three American cardiologists explained why it was such a big mistake.
Even if no visceral fat is burned, emerging evidence suggests physical activity can still improve our liver health and fitness, thus prolonging our lives.
When it comes to improving health, cardiologists — Carl Lavie, Robert Ross, and Ian Neeland — argue that simply increasing the amount of physical activity is more important than focusing on weight loss.
The arguments are controversial and will no doubt encourage further debate, but the authors clearly lay out their supporting evidence.
In particular, cardiologists focus on study published in International Journal of Obesity in August who found exercise measures were a much better predictor of long-term health than a person’s body mass index or body fat content.
Among 116,228 adults, the study found increased physical activity substantially eliminated the risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular-related death over the next 12 years.
This is true even if a person’s waist circumference increases over the same period.
“This is a finding that is fully consistent with the many observations showing that exercise is associated with benefits across a wide range of health outcomes in terms of minimal or no weight loss,” the cardiologist said. write in their editorial.
“However, a wealth of evidence suggests that a monolithic focus on weight loss as the sole determinant of the success of strategies aimed at reducing obesity is unjustified and, more importantly, eliminates the opportunity to focus on other important lifestyle behaviors potentially associated with substantial health. benefit.”
In other words, doctors may disappoint patients by placing too much emphasis on weight loss and not enough on reducing sedentary behavior.
While editorial writer confess “considerable and unequivocal evidence” that obesity is a health risk factor, they also suggest “obesity paradox“, where obesity is sometimes associated with a lower risk of death.
In recent years, scientists from various fields have criticized modern medicine’s narrow view of obesity.
Last year, 2021 review by two exercise physiologists argued for a “weight-neutral strategy” for the treatment of obesity.
Even when weight loss is not achieved, a 2021 review found that exercise can improve most of the cardiometabolic risk markers associated with obesity. Weight loss, meanwhile, was not consistently associated with a lower risk of death.
In fact, recently study among 10,000 patients with heart disease found that those with better cardiorespiratory fitness were more likely to survive the next 15 years, regardless of their BMI, body fat, or waist circumference.
“The finding that obesity and associated health risks can be greatly reduced by adopting a physically active lifestyle and healthy diet, even with minimal weight loss, encourages and provides practitioners and adults with additional overweight/obesity options for successful treatment,” the editorial said. new think.
Editorial writers have also investigated the matter. For example, they mentioned Lavies analysis done in 2018 who found changes in physical activity were better predictors of all-cause mortality and mortality in particular from cardiovascular disease. Weight loss, meanwhile, showed no such reduction in risk.
Evidence is piling up, and it shows that the link between physical activity, heart health and fat loss is not as easy as many of us believe.
If humans are active enough, some experts thinking they should be considered healthy regardless of their weight.
Given how inconsistent weight loss and weight gain are, these latest findings put more power in the hands of the individual.
If you want to feel fit and healthy, you may just need to move.
Editorial published in International Journal of Obesity.