You might have heard it already on the Oprah show with Dr. Oz, Body [QUOTE]
Mass Index (BMI) is not accurate to say who is overweight:
It's no secret that thin people can develop heart-related problems and that fat people often do not. But that millions defy the stereotypes will come as a surprise to many people, Sowers said.
Even so, there's growing debate about the accuracy of the standard method of calculating whether someone is overweight. Health officials rely on the body mass index, a weight-height ratio that does not distinguish between fat and lean tissue. The limits of that method were highlighted a few years ago when it was reported that the system would put nearly half of NBA players in the overweight category.
A number of experts say waist size is a more accurate way of determining someone's health risks, and the study results support that argument.
Dr. Robert Eckel, a former American Heart Association president and professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, said the new research may help dismiss some of the generalizations that are sometimes made about weight and health.
Study co-author Judith Wylie-Rosett emphasized that the study shouldn't send the message "that we don't need to worry about weight." That's because half of overweight people do face elevated risks for heart disease, explained Wylie-Rosett, a nutrition researcher at Albert Einstein College
of Medicine in New York.
Exercise and not smoking important:
Risks remain at every weight
In all weight categories, risk factors for heart problems were generally more common in older people, smokers and inactive people. Among obese people who were 50 to 64, just 20 percent were considered healthy compared with half of younger obese people.
The results underscore how important exercise is for staying healthy
, even for people of healthy weight, Wylie-Rosett said.
The authors noted that fat tissue releases hormones and other substances that affect things like blood vessels, cholesterol and blood sugar. The results suggest this interaction varies among overweight and obese people, the authors said.
The results also add to mounting evidence that thick waists are linked with heart risks.
The waist measuring is big with Dr. Oz's segments on Oprah.
"Being skinny is no guarantee of a healthy heart
Serious health risks are found equally in fat and thin folks, study shows"