The relationship between obesity and other metabolic diseases have been deeply studied. However, there are clinical inconsistencies, exceptions to the paradigm of “more fat means more metabolic disease”, and the subjects in this condition are referred to as metabolically healthy obese (MHO).They have long-standing obesity and morbid obesity but can be considered healthy despite their high degree of obesity. We describe the variable definitions of MHO, the underlying mechanisms that can explain the existence of this phenotype caused by greater adipose tissue inflammation or the different capacity for adipose tissue expansion and functionality apart from other unknown mechanisms. We analyze whether these subjects improve after an intervention (traditional lifestyle recommendations or bariatric surgery) or if they stay healthy as the years pass. MHO is common among the obese population and constitutes a unique subset of characteristics that reduce metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors despite the presence of excessive fat mass. The protective factors that grant a healthier profile to individuals with MHO are being elucidated.
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