Staying in shape may bolster the metabolic profiles of college students, even in those with higher than desirable body fat percentages. In an epidemiological study, researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University found an association between physical fitness, body fat percentage and certain metabolic risk factors that are precursors to cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

The data were collected from 564 male and female students who enrolled in the Tufts Longitudinal Health Study (TLHS), which tracked health and health-related behaviors in college students at Tufts University between 1998 and 2007. For the present study, the authors tracked four biomarkers of metabolic risk (high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), triglycerides and blood glucose levels) in relation to body fat and physical fitness.

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