Dyslipidemia: Obese or Not Obese-That Is Not the Question

Curr Obes Rep. 2016 Dec;5(4):405-412. doi: 10.1007/s13679-016-0232-9.


Purpose of review: Purpose of review: It is becoming increasingly clear that some obese individuals do not develop dyslipidemia and instead remain healthy, while some normal weight individuals become dyslipidemic and unhealthy.

Recent findings: The present review examines the similarities and differences between healthy and unhealthy individuals with and without obesity and discusses putative underlying mechanisms of dyslipidemia. The presence of dyslipidemia and compromised metabolic health in both lean and obese individuals suggests that the obese phenotype per se does not represent a main independent risk factor for the development of dyslipidemia and that dyslipidemia, rather than obesity, may be the driver of metabolic diseases. Notably, adipose tissue dysfunction and ectopic lipid deposition, in particular in the liver, seems a common trait of unhealthy individuals.

Keywords: Dyslipidemia; Metabolically healthy obese; Metabolically unhealthy normal weight; Metabolically unhealthy obese; Obesity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Dyslipidemias / blood
  • Dyslipidemias / complications*
  • Dyslipidemias / physiopathology
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / physiopathology


  • Lipids