An extensive study, involving 61,000 people and going back as far as the 1950s, has revealed that being fat and fit is a complete myth.
Previously, it was thought that having a good rate of metabolic fitness was enough - so this means being able to process sugar and having a normal blood pressure - to prevent the negative effects of obesity such as heart disease and diabetes.
However, Canadian researchers have found that the excess weight is still an issue when it comes to warding off disease. They found that even if overweight people don't have high blood pressure and are managing to regulate sugar normally, they still die younger than people of a normal weight.
WHAT IS METABOLIC SYNDROME?
Metabolic syndrome is the medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. It puts you at greater risk of heart disease, stroke and other conditions affecting blood vessels.
The MailOnline reported that the scientists from the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, "conducted a review of eight studies published from 1950 onwards to find out whether these metabolic indicators were linked to premature death and heart disease in normal-weight, overweight and obese people."
The participants were classified by Body Mass Index (BMI), which gives weight guidelines based on height, and measured lipid profile (blood fats), glucose tolerance (sugar), blood pressure and waist circumference, as well as other metabolic features.
TheSpec.com wrote: "When researchers used BMI to line up all of the 61,386 subjects who participated in the eight studies they pooled, they found that, as BMI rose, so did blood pressure, waist circumference and insulin resistance. As BMI increased, levels of HDL cholesterol, thought to protect against heart attack and stroke, decreased. Though overweight and obese subjects may not yet have reached the points that define metabolic illness, they appeared to be on that road as their weight rose."
"Increased BMI is not a benign condition, even in the absence of metabolic abnormalities," the authors said.
However, even if you are of a normal weight, the risk of suffering from a metabolic syndrome is just as high as someone who is overweight.