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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-6

Metabolically Healthy Obesity: An Eye-opener

Department of Medical Gastroenterology, Meenakshi Medical College Hospital and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Purushothaman Padmanabhan
Department of Medical Gastroenterology, Meenakshi Medical College Hospital and Research Institute, Kancheepuram - 631 552, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ghep.ghep_33_22

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Obesity is a global public health problem. Obese persons are likely to develop complications like degenerative joint diseases, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular diseases, fatty liver,cancer of esophagus and pancreas resulting in reduced life expectancy, poor quality of life and burden to economy. A subset of obese subjects does not develop metabolic abnormalities and they are described as metabolically healthy obese (MHO). This entity is a debatable one, and not well accepted. Here we review the merits and demerits of MHO. This is a narrative review and we have not applied advanced statistical procedures. The review articles by Stefan, Bluher and the cross-references are widely quoted in this article. Apart from this, we collected full-text articles from “PubMed,” and “ClinicalKey” platforms using the search term “Metabolically healthy obesity.” As evident in the literature, MHO is a significantly prevalent condition (10%–20%) with wide variation depending on the criteria used. This condition is subject to conversion to unhealthy with risk for development of cardio-metabolic abnormalities like diabetes and DL. The impact of intervention is remarkable but equivocal. MHO should not be considered a safe condition. The transit nature of MHO offers an opportunity for intervention. MHO is an eye-opener for future research.

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