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Study challenges ‘healthy but obese’ theory termed ‘obesity paradox’

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Being overweight or obese does pose a risk of heart disease, despite claims to the contrary, a study of nearly 300,000 British adults suggested Friday.

While it is generally accepted that being overweight increases a person’s disease risk, some researchers have recently suggested that carrying extra weight does not actually boost death rates for some, particularly the elderly.

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A number have even suggested that being overweight may protect against disease, a claim dubbed the “obesity paradox.”

But the latest study, published in the European Heart Journal, said there is no paradox.

It looked at 296,535 people aged 40-69 who enrolled in an ongoing health study in the United Kingdom between 2006 and 2010.

For the latest analysis, data on the participants — all of “white European descent” — was available until 2015.

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All were healthy when they first enrolled.

The researchers noted the participants’ Body Mass Index (BMI) — a ratio of weight-to-height squared used to determine whether a person falls in a healthy weight range.

They then tracked who went on to develop CVD — which includes heart attack, stroke or high blood pressure.

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The World Health Organization considers someone with a BMI of 25 kg/m2 as overweight, and 30 kg/m2 or higher as obese.

The research team found that CVD risk increased beyond a BMI of 22-23 kg/m2.

“Furthermore, the risk also increases steadily the more fat a person carries around their waist,” said a press statement summarising the findings.

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People with a BMI of 22-23 kg/m2 had the lowest CVD risk, the study found.

“As BMI increased above 22kg/m2, the risk of CVD increased by 13 percent for every 5.2 kg/m2 increase in women and 4.3 kg/m2 in men.”

The findings presented a direct challenge to the obesity paradox.

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“Any public misconception of a potential ‘protective’ effect of fat on heart and stroke risks should be challenged,” said study co-author Stamatina Iliodromiti from the University of Glasgow.

It is possible that the effect would be different for people with pre-existing disease, the authors said.

But for healthy people, maintaining a BMI of 22-23 kg/m2 appeared to minimise the risk of developing or dying from heart disease.

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“The less fat, especially around their abdomen, the lower the risk of future heart disease,” the authors concluded.

An American study published by the journal JAMA Cardiology last month, similarly found that overweight and obesity were associated with “significantly increased risk for CVD”.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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CNN anchor says Trump is ‘arsonist-in-chief’ on the economy: ‘Start practicing your stop, drop and roll’

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Conservative CNN anchor S.E. Cupp blasted President Donald Trump for taking a "blow torch to the U.S. economy this week."

"If it feels like the world is on fire, that’s because it literally is," Cupp said. "New reports that yesterday a U.S. plane made its way to South America to help local authorities fight the massive fires ripping through the Amazon, the world’s largest rain forest."

"The Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro finally caved to global pressure to authorize the country's military to assist in putting the fires out. That afterBolsonaro initially accused his critics of intentionally starting the fires -- to make him look bad," she said. "Chaos, delayed action, conspiracy theories, sound familiar?

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WATCH: Climate activists chant ‘failure of leadership’ at Tom Perez after DNC votes against climate debate

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Activists walked out of the Democratic National Committee's summer meeting in San Francisco after the organization voted against allowing a climate change debate during the 2020 primary.

DNC Chair Tom Perez imposed strict rules on the debates, which prevented a climate change debate from occurring. Climate activists had forced a vote, hoping to overrule the party boss.

"The Democratic Party needs the energy, motivation, and organizing capacity of young people to defeat Trump in 2020. But Tom Perez keeps shooting the party in the foot by rejecting that energy and turning it away," the Sunrise Movement said in a statement.

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DNC votes against allowing a climate change debate amongst the 2020 hopefuls

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