It seems being overweight is not necessarily an automatic indicator of poor heart health. In fact, the chances of weight being an issue are only about 50-50.
In the study, about 51 per cent of overweight adults, or roughly 36 million people nationwide, had mostly normal levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, blood fats called triglycerides and blood sugar. Almost one-third of obese adults, or nearly 20 million people, also were in this healthy range, meaning that none or only one of those measures was abnormal. Yet about a fourth of adults in the recommended-weight range had unhealthy levels of at least two of these measures. That means some 16 million of them are at risk for heart problems.
I would expect this study to generate some controversy. Already one Star reader has posted a comment online pointing out that the risk factors for health problems are higher than for people in the recommended weight range.
But the point of the study is that being oversized might not be as automatic an indicator of problems as previously thought.
What makes that interesting is the growing number of doctors refusing to see patients who smoke or are overweight — saying that if the patients won't help themselves, there's not much they can do for them.
In a recent posting to this blog, a nursing student asked, "Do you think its fair that people who take care of themselves pay the same taxes as people who don't?" Adding: "There has to come a time where people stop relying on our `great healthcare system' and start relying on themselves."
If this study is to be believed, however, such judgements might be premature.