Latest News » Slimmer individuals still may lack nutrients

Skinny doesn't necessarily equal healthy.

Although many people associate obesity with poor nutrition and certain medical conditions like diabetes, that doesn’t mean that individuals with slender frames are getting all of the vitamins and minerals they need. In fact, while some people may not be physically overweight, they can be categorized as “metabolically obese” – meaning their blood sugar and insulin levels are high, despite their seemingly healthy proportions.

Dr. Mark Hyman, a medical practitioner, wrote an article on this condition, which is officially called metabolically obese normal weight (MONW), but is also referred to as “skinny fat syndrome,” for The Huffington Post this month.

In his piece, Dr. Hyman explains 25 percent of Americans considered to be “normal weight” are estimated to be skinny fat, because, though they may appear slim, a disproportionate amount of their weight is fat rather than muscle. This is a significant figure, because a study released by the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that people with this condition have as great a risk of developing metabolic and cardiovascular disorders as visibly overweight individuals. The study indicated that this portion of the population may already have prediabetes – the precursor to type 2 diabetes.

In 2004, the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism published the findings from a clinical investigation into this occurrence among women. Researchers from the University of Montreal in Quebec conducted a study to compare the overall health and habits of MONW women compared to females of a similar weight who weren’t diagnosed with the syndrome.

“Despite a similar body mass index between groups, MONW women showed higher percent body fat, lower fat-free mass, lower physical activity energy expenditure, and lower peak oxygen uptake than non-MONW women,” the abstract states.

One possible way to keep your metabolism and blood sugar in check, according to Dr. Hyman, is to take nutritional supplements like multivitamins.