The measures were:
- a blood pressure reading higher than 130/85 mm/Hg
- a fasting glucose level greater than 100 mg/dl
- a waist circumference greater than 102 cm men, 88 cm women (click here to convert to inches)
- triglyceride level (blood fats) higher than 150 mg/dl
- hdl (good) cholesterol less than 40 mg/dl men, 50 mg/dl women
The aim of the study was to see if something about body composition was different between the two groups (could this difference explain the accumulating risk factors). The researchers did find differences, which were specific to gender. For most of the body composition measures they assessed(not described here), the metabolically healthy obese had lower values. For example, both metabolically healthy men and women had lower fat mass and less stomach or trunk fat. Most every measure was related to a type of adipose(fat) tissue, such that the more fat one had on their body, and in specific places, the more likely they were to have more than 2 of the risk factors and thus be metabolically unhealthy.
Take home point. Your absolute weight is not as important as your body composition and the 5 measures listed here are numbers you might want to pay attention to at your doctor's visits.