Exceeding a recommended body weight is not necessarily unhealthy, as is evident from the many overweight individuals who live long and reasonably healthy lives. About one-third of people who are overweight show no sign of metabolic disturbance, perhaps because they have genes that adapt them to being heavy. But as this chapter has repeatedly stressed, what matters most for health is not fat per se. Even more important predictors of health and longevity are where you store your body fat, what you eat, and how physically active you are. One landmark study, which followed nearly 22,000 men of all weights, sizes, and ages for eight years, found that lean men who did not exercise had twice the risk of dying as obese men who engaged in regular physical activity (after adjusting for other factors, such as smoking, alcohol, and age). Being fit can mitigate the negative effects of being fat. Therefore, a sizeable percentage of fit but overweight and even mildly obese individuals do not have a greater risk of premature death.