Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Despite a strong association between body weight and mortality in the general population, clinical evidence suggests better clinical outcome of overweight or obese individuals with established coronary heart disease. This finding has been termed the 'obesity paradox', but its existence remains a point of debate, because it is mostly observed when body mass index (BMI) is used to define obesity. Inherent limitations of BMI as an index of adiposity, as well as methodological biases and the presence of confounding factors, may account for the observed findings of clinical studies. In this review, our aim is to present the data that support the presence of a BMI paradox in coronary heart disease and then explore whether next to a BMI paradox a true obesity paradox exists as well. We conclude by attempting to link the obesity paradox notion to available translational research data supporting a 'healthy', protective adipose tissue phenotype. © 2016 World Obesity.


Journal article


Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity

Publication Date





989 - 1000


Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.