Are stronger, more physically fit overweight people healthier than adults of a similar body weight who don’t hit the weight room? An interesting study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise suggests that in terms of general health, they might be on a par with normal weight active adults.

Researchers divided 90 young male subjects into three groups: Fit overweight, inactive overweight and fit normal weight. Both fit groups lifted weights 4 days per week, and the fit overweight guys had as much fat mass on average as subjects in the inactive overweight group. After assessing markers of cardiovascular and metabolic health, the fit overweight guys compared favorably to fit normal weight guys.

True Strength Moment: This doesn’t mean it’s okay to be overweight. Glucose and insulin measurements were both lower in normal weight subjects compared to either of the overweight groups. But being a gym regular can make a difference even if you’re having a hard time dropping the pounds.

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