Health Advice



Don't kid yourself -- there's no such thing as healthy obesity

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

The blue whale is the largest ocean dweller, weighing around 180 tons, and the ostrich is the largest bird -- it can hit 345 pounds and still run 42 mph. Those heavyweight creatures are, well, a healthy weight. But for you, becoming a heavyweight is downright unhealthy, even if you qualify as having what some folks (not us) have called "metabolically healthy obesity."

FYI: MHO is defined as having a body mass index of 30 while meeting at least four of six normals for metabolic health: blood pressure, C-reactive protein, triglycerides, LDL and HDL cholesterol, and HbA1c, a measure of average blood glucose.

A study published in Diabetologia reveals that having a "normal" metabolic profile doesn't exempt an obese person from increased risks for diabetes, heart diseases, strokes and respiratory diseases. Looking at 10 years' worth of data on 381,363 individuals, the researchers found that compared to metabolically-healthy people without obesity, folks with MHO were 4.3 times more likely to have diabetes, 18% more likely to suffer heart attack or stroke, have a 76% higher risk of heart failure, were 28% more likely to develop respiratory disease and 19% more likely to contend with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Clearly, if you have MHO, you're at risk for health problems. Our advice: If you're overweight or obese, get weight-loss support through cognitive behavioral therapy, Overeaters Anonymous or System Oz (at Consult a nutritionist and Dr. Mike's for nutritional advice and recipes. Start a walking program heading to 10,000 steps a day. Say no to MHO.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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