Obesity Leads To Higher Cardiovascular Risks No Matter What, Study Says

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Obesity is linked to a wide range of health problems, from heart and kidney disease to back pain, asthma and even cancer.

Some people insist it is possible to be overweight and still be fit. But as CBS 2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported Tuesday, a new study finds that is not true.

Grace Newman, 48, has been hitting the gym hard lately. At 5 feet 2 inches tall and 178 pounds, she is the heaviest she has ever been.

“I have to lose the weight because every day going up and down the stairs, you’re just out of breath,” Newman said.

But some studies have been suggested being overweight or obese may be a benign condition if a person does not have such problems as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes. New research says being healthy and overweight is a myth.

“Obesity, even without associated risk factors, is not a benign condition,” said Dr. Robert Rosenson of the Mount Sinai Hospital.

Canadian researchers looked at studies published over the past 60 years, and also found the rates of death, heart attack and stroke were higher for obese people.

“Being obese, even in the absence of measurable risk factors, is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events,” Rosenson said. “So there is something we’re not able to measure, perhaps at the sub cellular level or genetic level, that is contributing to a higher risk.”

With nearly 155 million adults – half the U.S. population – qualifying as overweight or obese, doctors said it is critical to eat right and exercise to maintain a healthy weight. That applies even if those metabolic markers such as blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol are normal.

Personal trainer Eli Ingram recommends easing into lifestyle changes.

“A lot of people start programs and fall off, simply because they try to make too many changes all at once,” Ingram said.

Newman has her own plan.

“I have set a goal for myself,” she said. “I want to lose 25 pounds.”

Grace is hoping to drop her extra weight in the next four months.

The study showed the more obese a person was, the greater the risk for cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.

On the other side, being normal weight does not necessarily mean you are healthy. You still might have high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes, and you need to control those problems no matter what your weight.

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