The “Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study” ran from 1979 to 2003 and followed more than 43,000 participants. Each subject answered lifestyle and health history questions, underwent a physical examinations, and had there vitals tested. The participants were followed until 2003. The lion’s share of the studies participants were white and only about a fourth were women. The study was partially funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and by Coca-Cola Co.
Of the participants that were obese, 46 percent were deemed “metabolically healthy” by the researchers. These individuals had a higher level of fitness and exercised more than most obese people. When the study concluded, it was found that 38 percent of the metabolically healthy obese subjects had a lower risk of death compared to the less fit obese participants. The metabolically healthy obese participants had no significant increase in risk of death compared to metabolically fit people of ordinary weight.