“Study demolishes the myth that exercise makes up for obesity”


Can you make up for the health risks of obesity by exercise? Probably not, according to a new Swedish study on 1.3 million young men.

Men who were obese but fit had a 30 percent higher risk of premature death, compared to thin couch potatoes.

Interestingly the whole idea that moderate excess weight might be good – the so called obesity paradox – is probably fake. According to a recent study it can be explained by the fact that smoking and many diseases cause weight loss:

Obesity: Smoking and reverse causation create an obesity paradox in cardiovascular disease

When excluding smokers and people who recently lost weight, the normal weight people lived the longest.

To be a non-smoker and at normal weight is probably best for a long life – just as one might expect. And to be fit is a bonus.


How to Make Your Food a Powerful Medicine, Not a Slow Poison – Dr. Aseem Malhotra
How to Lose Weight

Let’s Stop Lying About Physical Activity and Obesity

Big Headlines: You Can’t Outrun a Bad Diet

“Take Off that Fitbit. Exercise Alone Won’t Make You Lose Weight.”


  1. Pierre
    Obese people have a shorter life.
    But not enough to scare them and change their habits.

    See figure 7


  2. Rachael
    Why did they only study men? Women can't take the results that men produce, all the studies into cholesterol over the years proved that; our physiology and anatomy is different and what shows true for men doesn't translate as true for women (especially pre-menopausal women). Does anyone know if they are doing one on women at all?
  3. bill
    I wonder what anybody thinks about
    this quiz posted on Medscape:


    Seems disingenuously overly influenced
    by the pharma ads accompanying it.
    Might be behind a paywall.

  4. BobM
    Actually, if you read Malcolm Kendrick's Doctoring Data, he reviews multiple studies where people who are overweight or obese have the longest lifespan. Of course, all of this (including the study here) is correlation not causation, so none of it is really useful.
  5. Food Addicts
    This is so true! I worked with a personal trainer for 5 years and still managed to get up to 241lbs. I couldn't stop eating no matter what I tried until I found a free 12-step program for food addiction (www.foodaddicts.org). I've maintained a 115lb weight loss for over 7 years without using exercise as a means to loose weight. I am so grateful to have found a sustainable solution to my food addiction!

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