Consequences of obesity and weight loss: a devil's advocate position

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Abstract

Obesity is associated with multiple negative health consequences and current weight management guidelines recommend all obese persons to lose weight. However, recent evidence suggests that not all obese persons are negatively affected by their weight and that weight loss does not necessarily always improve health. The purpose of this review is not to trivialize the significant health risks associated with obesity, but to discuss subpopulations of obese people who are not adversely affected, or may even benefit from higher adiposity, and in who weight loss per se may not always be the most appropriate recommendation. More specifically, this review will take a devil's advocate position when discussing the consequences of obesity and weight loss for adults with established cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, weight cyclers, metabolically healthy obese adults, youth, older adults and obese individuals who are highly fit.

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