It doesn’t cut it: “She’s a healthy plus-size woman because her blood sugar is normal.”
Plus-size model Ashley Graham inspired this article about the relationship between normal blood sugar and being healthy.
Not too long ago I was reading an article about body positivity, and as always, comments included pointing out how unhealthy obesity is.
Then a commenter posted that Ashley Graham is healthy despite her size because she has normal blood sugar.
And that’s all the poster said: normal blood sugar.
Since when does how healthy a body is all come down to a single data point: blood sugar?
Does this mean a three-pack-a-day smoker who never exercises and never eats fruits and vegetables and mainly subsists on beer and hotdogs is healthy because his fasting blood sugar is always in the 70s?
When I was a personal trainer for a gym, my fat clients couldn’t bolt across the parking lot. This alone was proof that fat cannot be healthy.
But if you want the science from doctors, it’s in:
Imperial College of London and University of Cambridge researchers have published the biggest study thus far that looks into this issue.
Over half a million adults were followed for over 12 years.
The conclusion of the study is that being overweight, and especially obese, is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease.
What this means is that it doesn’t matter what the person’s blood sugar is!
So this means Ashley Graham, despite her allegedly normal blood sugar, is at greater risk for heart disease than if she were 50 pounds lighter.
The study, published in the August 2017 European Heart Journal, adjusted for lifestyle risk factors for heart disease such as smoking, diet and exercise.
Even in the metabolically healthy group (normal blood sugar, normal blood pressure and healthy cholesterol panel), whether or not a subject had excess body fat was a factor in an increased risk of coronary heart disease.
• Overweight subjects with good metabolic health had a 26 percent higher heart disease risk.
• Obese subjects with a good metabolic health had a 28 percent higher risk.
• Their risk is in comparison to metabolically healthy subjects who were not overweight by body mass standards.
This study is a sock in the gut to the naysayers who insist that fat people can be healthy.
“I think there is no longer this concept of healthy obese,” says Dr. Ioanna Tzoulaki in the report.
“… people with excess weight who might be classed as ‘healthy’ haven’t yet developed an unhealthy metabolic profile,” explains Dr. Tzoulaki. “That comes later in the timeline, then they have an event, such as a heart attack.”