Obesity is the main cause of health complications around the world, and it affects people regardless of their location, nationality, or ethnicity.
What Is Metabolically Healthy Obesity And Its Association With Health Risks?
Metabolically healthy obesity (MHO) refers to a condition where a person has obesity, yet the individual’s metabolic profile is healthy.
According to the findings of a new study, people who are obese yet fall in the category of metabolically healthy obesity can also develop medical complications.
The prevalence of obesity across the world:
Obesity is the most prevalent and prominent health condition across the globe. According to the 2017-2018, an estimated 42.4% of the population in the US were obese.
For determining the risk factors during the health assessment of an individual, doctors just do not take the body weight into account.
Doctors also assess other factors like the metabolic health profile and other risk factors like cholesterol, level of blood glucose, and blood pressure range.
The new study is published in the journal Diabetologia, which analyzes the health risk of the individuals having obesity but not having other metabolic risk factors like high cholesterol level or high blood pressure.
The findings of the study indicate that individuals who have obesity should try to maintain a healthy body weight even if the other risk factors are not present to ensure a generally good outcome of their health.
The link between obesity and MHO:
Individuals who have a confirmed case of obesity are prone to suffering from multiple health issues.
Maintaining a healthy body weight can help an individual to avert the risks of type II diabetes, stroke, coronary artery disease, and high blood pressure.
Obesity is identified in an individual if the body mass index (BMI) surpasses 30. The BMI of an individual is calculated by dividing the bodyweight of an individual in kilograms by their height in meters.
The measure of BMI of a person is not the perfect criteria to analyze the health of an individual. Still, it helps the medical professionals to get a general idea if the person is maintaining a healthy weight.
Researches are currently underway to understand the link between health risk factors and obesity, which might have led to the formulation of the term MHO.
It is very much possible for a person to be diagnosed with obesity and not with metabolic syndrome. A person is said to have metabolic syndrome if he is diagnosed with conditions like obesity, low levels of high-density cholesterol (HDL), high level of triglyceride, high range of blood pressure, and high levels of glucose in the blood.
Risks associated with MHO:
To understand if people with MHO are at risk of developing other health problems, a study was carried out and it constituted of 381,363 individuals.
A person is said to have MHO if he is having traces of any four of the following in his body, these are, blood pressure, C-reactive protein, triacylglycerols, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and hemoglobin AIC that is a measure of the blood glucose level of an individual over 3 months.
Based on the above-listed factors, the participants were divided into four groups, metabolically healthy non-obesity, metabolically unhealthy non-obesity, MHO, and metabolically unhealthy obesity.
It was noted that few individuals having MHO over the years shifted to metabolically unhealthy obesity.
Various factors like the individual’s socioeconomic status, lifestyle habits, and demographics contributed to the shift.
Individuals with MHO were at higher risk of developing diabetes, incident/fatal atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, heart failure, respiratory disease, and all-cause mortality than those in the metabolically healthy non-obesity group.
Individuals in the metabolically unhealthy obesity group of the study had most of the health risks, followed by the individuals of the group, metabolically unhealthy non-obesity group, followed by the individuals in the MHO group.