Could a person be fit and still considered fat?

I get asked this question on a regular basis from my clients – “Can a person be fit and still be considered fat?”  Great question with no easy answer.

This 2012 article from TIME magazine is a great article about this exact question.


The researchers examined data on 43,265 participants enrolled in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study between 1979 and 2003.

What were the takeaways:

  • Those who were fat but fit had no higher death risk than metabolically healthy normal weight participants
  • Someone who is fit is metabolically going to be far better off than someone who is unfit
  • Doctors and public health experts: get more exercise — whether you’re thin or fat

But, remember:

  • “You are still more likely to develop other metabolic risk factors that contribute to chronic disease if you’re overweight.”
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