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You can’t be fat and fit: Study finds excess fat leads to higher risk of heart disease

EL PASO, Texas - Dr. Waseem Shami, a cardiologist with Las Palmas Medical Center, appeared on ABC-7 at Four to provide perspective on a recent study that reveals that the negative effects of being overweight are not canceled out by being physically active. In other words, you can't be fat and fit.

"According to new research, the negative effects being overweight can have on your heart are not canceled out by leading a physically active lifestyle alone," said Dr. Shami, "which is very different than some previous studies that came out and gave life to the idea of 'fat but fit,' which centered around the idea that as long as a person lead an active lifestyle, regardless of having excess body fat, they would have similar cardiovascular levels as someone who does not have excess body fat. The findings refute the notion that a physically active lifestyle can completely negate the effects of being overweight and obesity."

"This study highlights the importance of maintaining both a normal amount of body fat and being physically active," added Dr. Shami. "The studies showed us that not only everyone should be physically active in some way, but also that those who were physically active with excess body fat actually had similar cardiovascular risks and issues, like high cholesterol and diabetes, to those who were not physically active but had excess body fat."

Dr. Shami added that you should continue to maintain a level of physical fitness and watch what you eat in order to maintain a healthy weight.

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Mark Ross

Mark Ross is an anchor/producer for ABC-7.

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