Metabolically healthy obesity: what is the role of sedentary behaviour?

Joshua A Bell, Mika Kivimaki, G David Batty, Mark Hamer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

15 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: The role of sedentary behaviour in metabolically healthy obesity is unknown. We examined cross-sectional differences in television viewing time across metabolic and obesity phenotypes, hypothesizing that healthy obese individuals spend less time viewing television than their unhealthy counterparts.

METHODS: A nationally representative sample of 4931 older adults in England (mean age 65.1; SD=8.9 years) was drawn from the 2008/9 wave of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Average weekly television viewing time was derived from two questions about weekday and weekend viewing. Obesity was defined as body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m(2), and metabolically healthy as having <2 metabolic abnormalities (low HDL-cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, hyperglycaemia, high inflammation).

RESULTS: After adjusting for covariates including chronic illness, functional limitations and physical activity, mean weekly viewing times were 4.7 (95% confidence interval 2.9, 6.5), 5.8 (2.5, 9.0) and 7.8 (5.7, 9.8) h higher in unhealthy non-obese, healthy obese, and unhealthy obese groups respectively, compared to the healthy non-obese group (p for heterogeneity <0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: A common type of leisure-time sedentary behaviour varies across metabolic and obesity phenotypes. However, healthy obesity is not explained through differences in leisure-time sedentary behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-7
Number of pages3
JournalPreventive Medicine
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression
  • England
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Obesity
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sedentary Lifestyle
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Television

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