Washington D.C.: Obesity is bad for health, but "skinny fat" is deadlier, according to a recent research.
The study concludes that excess belly fat, even if you are skinny everywhere else, may be even more deadly than being obese or overweight, the CNN reported.
The study, which analyzed data from 15,184 American adults over a median of 14.3 years, looked at how body mass index (or a height-to-weight ratio) and belly fat (defined by a waist-to-hip ratio) predict mortality.
The researchers from the Mayo Clinic and other institutions around the world found that people who weighed a normal amount for their heights but who were obese around their middles were more likely to die than people with any other body types. Men with normal BMIs but "central obesity," for example, had twice the mortality risk of men who were overweight or obese according to BMI only.
Researchers wrote that their study suggests that persons with normal-weight central obesity may represent an important target population for lifestyle modification and other preventive strategies.
The study is published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.