T Nation

Body Fat and Heart Disease

Lots of interesting discussion towards the end of the Bulking thread.
Anonym posted tons of great info.
If like to hear more from those studies.
Ill copy and paste some of the quotes to get us started here.

QUESTION TO BE DISCUSSED:
Does being overweight (excess bodyfat not BS BMI) put someone at risk for heart disease?
Is being overweight a risk factor for CVD?

the quote heard round the world:

Sites stating that being overweight is a risk factor for CVD

5th risk factor listed
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/...isk-factors.htm

9th risk factor listed
http://www.health.com/...0188499,00.html

7th risk factor listed
http://www.world-heart-federat

8th major risk factor listed
http://www.heart.org/...jsp#mainContent

5th risk factor listed (this one is for the ladies)
http://womenshealth.gov/...can-control.cfm

5th risk factor listed that can be controlled
http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/...onal/hdrisk.asp

5th risk factor listed
http://yourdiseaserisk.wustl.e

1st controllable risk factor (another one for women)
http://heartdisease.about.com/.../womenrisk2.htm

10th risk factor listed
http://www.healtheast.org/...sk-factors.html

5th risk factor listed
http://www.kdheks.gov/...cardio/risk.htm

9th paragraph about risk factors
http://www.uihealthcare.org/…aspx?id=237281

[quote]Anonym wrote:
There is a designation that exists in the scientific literature known as “metabolically obese, normal-weight.” Colloquially, it is known as being “skinny fat” and this would probably be the term most here are familiar with. These individuals are classified as normal according to the BMI standards, yet by virtue of their body fat percentage they are seen to have all the usual suspects concomitant with the BMI-determined “obese” state.

Another phenomenon exists which is also the subject of much research. It is known as “visceral adiposity” (colloquially known as “thin-outside, fat-inside”) and has been observed to have greater statistical significance when evaluating disease risk when compared to various other metrics. This research strongly suggests that the LOCATION of body fat, rather than the aggregate amount, is of major importance when determining risk. As such, individuals may be at risk of numerous deleterious health effects despite a “moderate” (defined above, by you, as “less than obesity”) level of body fat.

We can see a hint of this significance from the study “Reversal of type 2 diabetes: normalisation of beta cell function in association with decreased pancreas and liver triacylglycerol” (Lim et al), in which obese diabetic subjects saw normalization of fasting plasma glucose and hepatic insulin sensitivity in a single week on a “crash” diet. Of surprise and significance is that these results were seen from a loss of “only” 5 pounds, or so, consisting largely of marked decreases in both pancreatic and hepatic TG content. [/quote]

[quote]Anonym wrote:
Brick wrote that “overweight (not obesity) puts one at risk for heart disease, hyperlipidemia, and in some cases, diminished psychological and social well being.”

The graph clearly illustrates a positive association between body fat and prevalence. The prevalence increases below the obesity cutoffs, as expected from Brick’s post, an association occurring regardless of what your personal interpretation of “significant” happens to be. [/quote]

[quote]Anonym wrote:
Yeah, yeah, correlation, causation.

What’s interesting is that, despite the fact that only 14% more of the “over-fat” group was sedentary compared to the “normal-fat” crowd, that group tripled the normies in instances of hypercholesterolemia and QUADRUPLED them in the hypertension category.
[/quote]

Reposting because apparently it was missed the 3-4 other times I asked

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]Smashingweights wrote:

Brick said being overweight was a risk factor.[/quote]

Brick wrote,

…which makes you incorrect.

From 6-8-2013 @ 1:30
Page 39 of the Bulking thread.

As a stat major the first thought that pops into my head is this:

Cardiovascular health is greatly improved by cardiovascular exercise.

The vast majority of people getting to 10% and under are using significantly more cardiovascular exercise than someone around 20% when talking about the average human. Would someone maintaining a level of BF around 20% who engaged in productive cardio to improve heart health be at a risk level typical of the average individual at 20% or closer to the average 10% person more similar in terms of cardiovascular training?

Basically I am wondering what the numbers look like when adjusted for cardiovascular training.

I would really like to hear more from thoughts about this because it actually was an interesting topic for the last few pages:
LowRez
BCT
Anonym
Bpick
Csulli3PO :slight_smile:
Steely
Ryan
Prof
JoeGood
Bauber

lets hear your thoughts.
Obviously anyone else who has any info, insight or opinions on the topic are more than welcome to contribute.

I am interested in knowing more about the correlation between bodyfat and health risks.
correlation doesnt equal causation and no one has said this.
we are talking about risk factors and things that contribute to CVD and other health conditions.
pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease dont throw out the genetics card (is that the new race card? lol)
obviously there are tons of factors involved
we are talking about quantitate and controllable factors.

[quote]csulli wrote:
As a stat major the first thought that pops into my head is this:

Cardiovascular health is greatly improved by cardiovascular exercise.

The vast majority of people getting to 10% and under are using significantly more cardiovascular exercise than someone around 20% when talking about the average human. Would someone maintaining a level of BF around 20% who engaged in productive cardio to improve heart health be at a risk level typical of the average individual at 20% or closer to the average 10% person more similar in terms of cardiovascular training?

Basically I am wondering what the numbers look like when adjusted for cardiovascular training.[/quote]
Good Post!!!
I think that a person who is sedentary at 20% would be at a higher risk than an athelete who sits at 20% because of the factors that you listed.
This is why I am a proponent of doing cardio while “bulking” shudders at that word
it is good for keeping a strong and healthy cardiovascular system which cannot be a bad thing right?

good post!

[quote]bpick86 wrote:
Maybe it does maybe the “healthy” body fat ranges that you speak of are lower than 15%. The thing you are ignoring is the fact that this graph seems to suggest that optimal bodyfat ranges in men are lower than 15%, lower than 10% even (although I still find that hard to believe). You seem to suggest that because the graph does not agree that the bodyfat %'s that you say are healthy, are actually as healthy as you think that the graph must be wrong. [/quote]

[quote]Professor X wrote:
That assertion holds no water considering most of humanity in North America has never seen the southern side of 15% and are also healthy. [/quote]

In what fairy dream world are you living in where most of America is healthy?? Don’t be dumb just to try to be right, its unbecoming. If you have a good point make it but don’t try to prove your point with out right false stupidity.

[quote]bpick86 wrote:
This graph shows a pretty direct correlation that NORMAL body fat ranges are at a higher risk of CVD than those that have exceptional bodyfat.[/quote]

[quote] Professor X wrote:
Actually, it just shows that Korean Men seem to be diagnosed with diseases while in a leaner state than most of the rest of the world…which implies other factors at work and NT body fat. [/quote]

No, what it is saying is that the leaner you are, the fewer diseases related to carrying extra fat you are diagnosed with. If you can show me where this does not hold true across racial lines then I will concede your point, but please don’t be offended if I don’t just take your word that lean people are no healthier than not lean people.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

This statement is the most ridiculous statement I have seen on this site.

And this is also why “bro-science” is fucking up real science.

I am not and no other human on the planet is at a greater risk of a CVD JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE 5% BF MORE THAN YOU. That has no support anywhere[/quote]

The fact that you disagree with it is a far more ridiculous statement. so you think that a graph will just make a 90 degree angle and shoot straight up at the point of obesity?? That makes much more sense than there being a gradual increase in the risk for CVD. Again don’t be stupid just so that you don’t have to admit that leaner is healthier. As I have had said before, I am carrying extra bodyfat around myself right now, but I am not delusional enough to try to convince myself that I am just as healthy as if I lost down to a much leaner frame.

And don’t give me real science. You are essentially telling everyone to take your word for it that the graph (real science) is wrong and your theory about there really not being any difference (bro science) is right. You actually aren’t even using bro science, you are just throwing a arguing because someone is suggesting that people are healthier than you.

[quote]Smashingweights wrote:
Reposting because apparently it was missed the 3-4 other times I asked

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]Smashingweights wrote:

Brick said being overweight was a risk factor.[/quote]

Brick wrote,

…which makes you incorrect.

From 6-8-2013 @ 1:30
Page 39 of the Bulking thread.[/quote]

LOL…yea that one is not getting touched.

In fact that coronary risk factor table you posted seems to confirm my thoughts. If you notice 6.3% of the 10% and under crowd are described as having a sedentary lifestyle, while a whopping 40% are sedentary in the very next stratification going up to 20%.

I dunno. Obviously being obese is bad for your health and definitely bad for your heart. If you’re like 20% though the data seems to indicate you will be fine if you actually do some cardio.

[quote]bpick86 wrote:
In what fairy dream world…
[/quote]
is it weird that i read fairy dream as Dairy Queen and now I want a snickers blizzard?

[quote]csulli wrote:
In fact that coronary risk factor table you posted seems to confirm my thoughts. If you notice 6.3% of the 10% and under crowd are described as having a sedentary lifestyle, while a whopping 40% are sedentary in the very next stratification going up to 20%.

I dunno. Obviously being obese is bad for your health and definitely bad for your heart. If you’re like 20% though the data seems to indicate you will be fine if you actually do some cardio.[/quote]
of course being 20% bf alone doesnt mean you have a CVD death sentence but it just is an indicator that you are potentially at higher risk than if you were leaner.
Carrying around lots extra fat isn’t good for your body and puts extra stress on your body systems and your joints.
I dont think anyone would argue against that.
But im sure someone will.

[quote]Smashingweights wrote:

[quote]bpick86 wrote:
In what fairy dream world…
[/quote]
is it weird that i read fairy dream as Dairy Queen and now I want a snickers blizzard?[/quote]

He answered my post in another thread that I created and asked to be deleted. Now its gone but I don’t know what he said.

I dont know if looking at this from just bf% is a good idea. Jason huh was ripped to shreds in one of those MD videos, but sounded like he was about to drop dead from a heart attack at any moment. Carrying around excess weight is probably unhealthy no matter what. 5.8-5.9 guys were never meant to weigh 260-300 lbs.


The more I look at this the more interesting I find it. If you look at what is described as “normal fat” ranges, high cholesterol only jumps by about 6% and high BP by only about 3 and a half percent. However once you get into the overly fat and obese ranges all the sudden you’re seeing 30+ percent jumps. This sort of does seem to indicate to me that obesity is the big risk factor, and that it is not linearly correlated to bodyfat levels.

Like I mentioned before, I honestly believe the difference between the under-fat and normal-fat levels are due entirely to cardiovascular training. Based on the data there 93.7% of the under-fats did cardio whilst a mere 60% of the normies did cardio. I’m actually surprised the blood pressure and cholesterol differences aren’t greater between these groups!

Anyway, I love to nerd out about data… Numbers seem to indicate to me a causal relationship between cardiovascular training and heart disease and also one between obesity and heart disease; wherever you want to define obesity (30% or something?). I think that the normal fat levels are only correlated to higher heart disease risk due to a dramatic difference in cardiovascular exercise on average. I don’t think the risk factors are linearly related to bodyfat levels; there appears to be more of a threshold. Of course like I said, it looks like honestly cardio largely trumps bodyfat levels.

It may be more productive to discuss at what body fat percentage you are at a higher risk for not pulling serious ass.

[quote]whatever2k wrote:
I dont know if looking at this from just bf% is a good idea. Jason huh was ripped to shreds in one of those MD videos, but sounded like he was about to drop dead from a heart attack at any moment. Carrying around excess weight is probably unhealthy no matter what. 5.8-5.9 guys were never meant to weigh 260-300 lbs. [/quote]
That has a lot to do with the myriad of drugs these guys are taking in a daily basis.

Check out this video of someone being honest about their drug regimen.
Probably not the smartest move to put all that on YouTube but they guy isn’t even a 300 pound top pro and listen to what all he takes.
Just more food for thought.
Thanks for your input!