The study could impact how we think about obesity and health, said Jennifer Kuk, an associate professor at York University in Canada.
"This is clearly problematic, as hypertension alone increases your mortality risk and past literature would have called these patients with obesity and hypertension, 'healthy'. This is likely why most studies have reported that 'healthy' obesity is still related with higher mortality risk," he added.
The study followed 54,089 men and women from five cohort studies who were categorised as having obesity alone or clustered with a metabolic factor, or elevated glucose, blood pressure or lipids alone or clustered with obesity or another metabolic factor.
Researchers found that one out of 20 individuals with obesity had no other metabolic abnormalities.
"We're showing that individuals with metabolically healthy obesity are actually not at an elevated mortality rate. We found that a person of normal weight with no other metabolic risk factors is just as likely to die as the person with obesity and no other risk factors," said Kuk.
"This means that hundreds of thousands of people in North America alone with metabolically healthy obesity will be told to lose weight when it's questionable how much benefit they'll actually receive," she said.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)