Dark and Light Side of Obesity: Mortality of Metabolically Healthy Obese People

Lev M Berstein


Expert Rev Endocrinol Metab. 2012;7(6):629-632. 

In This Article

Five-year View

Different phenotypes and manifestations of obesity make it unreasonable to reduce its significance only to merely body fat content in excess of certain limits. Delineating more precisely and specifically these phenotypes (first of all, such as metabolically healthy obese, MHO, and metabolically obese normal weight, MONW) is critical to better understanding which part of the population needs to be only periodically observed and which needs to have therapeutic recommendations. The response to these important challenges is localized, apart from the clinic, in fundamental and translational areas. Altogether, the approaches peculiar to these fields will hopefully help to find efficient systemic, cellular and genetic markers of distinctive adiposity types and consider whether the ratio of these types is changing in the course of contemporary obesity epidemic. Further analysis of comorbidity and mortality associated with heterogenous types of obesity (Figure 1) will be crucial for advances in the prevention and treatment not only of obesity itself, but also of the entire set of main human noncommunicable diseases.

Figure 1.

The types of obesity, their potential outcomes and potential modifiers of the associations. 'Standard' obesity–obesity with the signs of insulin resistance.MHO: Metabolically healthy obese; MONW: Metabolically obese normal weight.