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Dec 21, 2015 12:36 PM EST

Researchers dispel the 'fat but fit' myth


A new study reveals that the negative affects of obesity cannot be canceled out by increasing fitness levels, UPI reports.

The study is published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

For the study, the researchers at Umeå University in Sweden analyzed data on 1.3 million Swedish men. The participants were followed from the years 1969 to 1996, and their aerobic fitness was measured by an electrically braked cycle test.

Based on a mean follow-up of 29 years, the study revealed that men in the highest fifth of aerobic fitness had a 48 percent lower risk of death from any cause, as compared to the lowest fifth of men.

The researchers reported that aerobic fitness was associated with reduced risk for death in normal and overweight men. However, the benefits of fitness were lower in obese men. Unfit normal-weight men had a 30 percent lower risk of death from any cause than obese men.

Peter Nordström, a researcher at Umea University, said that a link was also found between low aerobic fitness and death from trauma.

However, he added that that "genetic factors could have influenced these associations given that aerobic fitness is under strong genetic control."

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