But Dr. Jennifer Kuk and Dr. Chris Arden from my undergraduate Alma mater York University in Toronto recently published a paper that looked at 6,011 adults and then subdivided them into those who were "metabolically normal" and obese and "metabolically abnormal" and obese and then followed those individuals' mortality rates over the course of 10 years.
Obesity doesn't generally occur in the absence of metabolic abnormalities (only about 6% of the obese folks fall into this slot), but when it does, it's still associated with the same increase in risk of all-cause mortality.
A little while ago I had the chance to interview Dr. Kuk about her study.
Click below to download the audio file, or you can listen on the embedded player (won't work with email subscribers) and hear Jen discuss her findings.
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Kuk JL, & Ardern CI (2009). Are metabolically normal but obese individuals at lower risk for all-cause mortality? Diabetes care, 32 (12), 2297-9 PMID: 19729521