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It is not how much fat you carry but how fit you feel that has most influence on how long you will live.
With Dr Xuemei Sui, Prof Blair and colleagues examined the associations between heart fitness, various measures of adiposity (body fat) and death in older women and men.
The study included 2,603 adults age 60 years or older (average age, 64.4 years; 19.8 percent women) who did a treadmill exercise test. The doctors assessed how plump they were using body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and body fat measurements.
The researchers found that those who died were older, had lower fitness levels, and had more cardiovascular risk factors than survivors. However, there were no significant differences in how fat they were.