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expert reaction to review suggesting fitness be prioritised over weight loss for obesity-related health conditions

A review, published in iScience, looked at whether fitness should be prioritised over weight loss for obesity-related health conditions.


Dr Fergus Guppy, Principal Lecturer in Human Physiology at the University of Brighton, said:

“The challenge with this article is that it is not new, with no additional data to support the arguments that there is a ‘fat but fit’ phenotype.  The points raised by the authors are all valid, however there is also lots of evidence that being obese is a risk factor for poor health outcomes in a variety of settings. 

“The message to the public that increased exercise or physical activity is a good thing is correct, but this needs to be in conjunction with weight management as the two together are undoubtedly more beneficial.”



‘Obesity treatment: Weight loss versus increasing fitness and physical activity for reducing health risks’ by Glenn A. Gaesser and Siddhartha S. Angadi was published in iScience at 4pm UK time on 4pm UK time on Monday 20 September.


Declared interests

Dr Guppy: I am a director of a company called Vestra Health that is in the future (not yet started) to assess body composition in people and direct them to lifestyle improvement services.

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