Researchers looked at five years’ worth of health survey responses and weight calculations from thousands of overweight and normal-weight people ages 40 to 79 who’d never had heart disease. Scientists noted the participants’ amount of abdominal fat, waist size, and self-reported amounts of physical activity, then calculated everyone’s cardiovascular disease risk.
The results: 30% of sedentary people with a normal weight had about the same risk for a heart attack or stroke as people who were overweight. Sedentary adults whose weight was normal also had higher levels of belly fat, shortness of breath upon exertion, and an unhealthy waist circumference compared with normal-weight adults who exercised regularly.
However, people with a normal weight who exercised at least 150 minutes per week were 58% less likely to have a heart attack than those in the study who were overweight.
Source: Harvard Medical School