Fat but fit myth busted

Today’s BBC News headlines confirmed what many of us already knew to be true, that it’s not possible to be fat and fit. Essentially if you’re obese but still have no risk factors for heart disease, just being significantly overweight in itself is harmful to health in the long term.


In 2015 two eminent sports scientists and I wrote an editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine which made world news. In it, we pointed out that the obesity epidemic had come from consumption of excess processed food consumption, more specifically excess refined carbohydrates including sugar. And although exercise is very beneficial for health, weight loss is not one of those benefits.

It made BBC News headlines and caused a furore amongst the establishment but we were right because you can’t outrun a bad diet.


When advising my own patients I quote one of my co-authors of the editorial Professor Tim Noakes. He ¬†says “the benefits of exercise are unbelievable but if you have to exercise to keep your weight down, your diet is wrong”.

Full link to the editorial: http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2015/05/07/bjsports-2015-094911