Endocrinology and Metabolism (Sep 2020)

Metabolically Healthy and Unhealthy Normal Weight and Obesity

  • Norbert Stefan

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 35, no. 3
pp. 487 – 493


Read online

Increased fat mass is an established risk factor for the cardiometabolic diseases type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) and is associated with increased risk of all-cause and CVD mortality. However, also very low fat mass associates with such an increased risk. Whether impaired metabolic health, characterized by hypertension, dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, and subclinical inflammation, may explain part of the elevated risk of cardiometabolic diseases that is found in many subjects with very low fat mass, as it does in many obese subjects, is unknown. An important pathomechanism of impaired metabolic health is disproportionate fat distribution. In this article the risk of cardiometabolic diseases and mortality in subjects with metabolically healthy and unhealthy normal weight and obesity is summarized. Furthermore, the change of metabolic health during a longer period of follow-up and its impact on cardiometabolic diseases is being discussed. Finally, the implementation of the concept of metabolic health in daily clinical practice is being highlighted.