What is it about?

Normal weight obesity (NWO) is defined as a normal body mass index with a high body fat percentage. While several studies have described the impact of NWO on cardiometabolic risk factors, the association between them remains uncertain. Therefore, this meta-analysis systematically evaluated cardiometabolic risk factors in adults with NWO compared to adults with normal weight lean (NWL). The current meta-analysis consisting twenty-four cross-sectional studies with a total of 75,201 subjects showed that compared to NWL, NWO is significantly associated with cardiometabolic risk factors, including metabolic syndrome, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, and other laboratory findings (e.g., inflammatory markers, lipid and glycemic profiles).

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Why is it important?

After all these years, normal weight population is considered being a benign condition and immune to the increased risk of cardiometabolic illness and death associated with obesity. Through the results of this meta-analysis, it refuting the notion that normal weight population is benign condition. Hence, the traditional definition of obesity using the BMI criteria should be challenged, as those with normal weight obesity might still be exposed to a heightened risk of cardiometabolic disorders.

Perspectives

Firstly, it has been a great pleasure for me to write this manuscript. I hope through this meta-analysis, clinicians will be more aware of the occurrence of normal weight obesity (NWO) and its association with cardiometabolic risk factors. Clinicians are encouraged to perform body fat screening using several modalities (e.g., DXA, BIA, ADP and skin fold measurement) in addition to traditional BMI measurements to obtain an early diagnosis of NWO and prevent cardiometabolic diseases.

Iwan Cahyo Santosa Putra
Universitas Padjadjaran

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This page is a summary of: Cardiometabolic risk factors in adults with normal weight obesity: A systematic review and meta‐analysis, Clinical Obesity, April 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/cob.12523.
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