There are many different ways to measure if your weight falls within a healthy range, such as weight, height, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio. You might think that how much you weigh is the key indicator of good health, but there are many other factors to consider.
The quest for good health and wellbeing has become entangled with having a perfect figure or being a certain clothing size. There is increasingly more support for the belief that you can be healthy no matter what your weight is.
There is a group of health professionals who say that encouraging diets is wrong and that a person’s BMI and weight don’t show how healthy they are. The latest science is that the medical experts make of it.
Some people think they’re healthy because they weigh an average amount. Research suggests that people who are overweight can still be healthy, or at least free of the health risks that are usually associated with being overweight.
The term “metabolic health” describes the absence of markers that increase the risk of certain conditions, such as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and insulin resistance. One in three people with a BMI classified as obese had the same story.
John Dixon is a leading obesity researcher and the Head of Clinical Obesity Research at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne. He warned against blindly trusting the concept of “metabolically healthy” obesity.
He explains that people who are obese may be metabolically normal now, but they are likely to become less so in the future.
Although they may be able to lose weight, the health risks connected to being obese can still be present. A University of Glasgow study found that people with obesity who have a healthy metabolic profile are four times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
People with diabetes are more likely to suffer from heart attacks, strokes, and respiratory illnesses.
A person’s health is much more nuanced than one single calculation.
It is not only a person’s BMI that impacts their health, other factors such as metabolism play a role in overall health as well. Although a person may have a healthy body weight, they could still be at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes or heart disease.
The storing of fat in riskier areas of the body, such as around the stomach, is due to other risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and altered insulin sensitivity.
Tiffany Petre is the director of the Obesity Collective, a group of researchers at the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre who study obesity and its causes. She said that these findings back up the idea that BMI is not a diagnosis.
“It’s definitely not,” she asserts. ” We do not think that you should use BMI to measure health. A person’s health is more complicated than just one number, so BMI by itself is not a good way to tell how healthy a person is.
Does BMI matter?
What is the body mass index (BMI) and how does it impact good health? To calculate your BMI, divide your weight in kilos by your height in meters squared. This used to be the way of checking if your weight was healthy.
Being overweight or obese (having a BMI of 25 or higher) is linked to an increased risk of developing several potentially serious health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. But BMI doesn’t distinguish between fat and muscle.
Muscle mass is often inaccurately represented by BMI.
BMI also doesn’t reflect where body fat is stored.
Your waist circumference measurement is now considered to be very important. Some studies suggest that measuring body fat alone is more useful. A waist size over 94cm for men and over 80cm for women is considered a potential health risk. This is because carrying excessive weight around your middle can increase your chances of developing diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
Do I need to lose weight?
The World Health Organization reports that approximately 39 percent of adults worldwide are overweight, while approximately 13 percent are living with obesity. Given that being overweight comes with a slew of health risks, it’s important to ask whether the entire nation could stand to lose a few pounds.
Louise Adams is the president of Health At Every Size (HAES) Australia which is an organization that believes that everyone deserves to have good health regardless of their weight. This not-for-profit organization also opposes the necessity of ‘intentional weight loss’.
At HAES, we accept that there are correlations between weight and an increased risk of certain health conditions,” says Louise. “We deny that this is the only way to look at the situation. ”
Dieting to lose weight usually does not work and can have a negative impact on a person’s metabolism,” says Louise.
Food for Thought
There are a lot of things that affect our health, not just how much we weigh. It also depends on how well we sleep, how much stress we’re under, if we drink or smoke, how active we are, and what we eat.
Eating a healthy diet is more important for your risk of death than your body mass index, according to a 2020 study. The study found that people with a healthy BMI who did not follow a Mediterranean diet had a higher risk of death than people of any other weight category who did follow the diet.
A Mediterranean diet typically contains a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, dairy products, unrefined grains, fish, and olive oil. You would eat less red meat and drink less alcohol on this diet.
The Dangers of Tribal Mentality
As people, we all believe certain things. People who share similar beliefs tend to congregate together. It makes us feel safe and wanted. This is your tribe.
For the most part, tribes are not harmful, like the Pokemon fan club you may have started in school. Other tribes that are emotional charged exist.
The tribes that can become dangerous are the ones where the idea has become a part of the person’s identity.
If someone does not agree with an idea, they are not disagreeing with the idea itself, they are disagreeing with the person who had the idea. This isn’t a disagreement, it’s an attack.
When someone feels attacked, they are no longer rational. Even if there is a lot of evidence that goes against what they believe, they don’t want to hear it and will stick to their beliefs.
For example. Cancer Research UK launched a campaign to raise awareness about the fact that obesity is the second most preventable cause of cancer after smoking. Some people on the internet got angry and accused Cancer Research UK of “fat shaming” when they saw the ad, even suggesting that it should be taken down.
Some people were offended by an organization working to raise awareness about cancer and obesity because they are linked. It’s not singling out or pointing fingers at any one person or group. It doesn’t say, “Fat people get cancer,” or “Being fat will give you cancer”–It’s just bringing awareness to an unfortunate, research-backed, fact: Obesity–a medical term–is a cause of cancer.
Was the CRUK campaign clickbaity? Sure. Does that automatically make it wrong or invalid? No. It’s a campaign, and for it to do its job it needs to catch attention, and clickbait headlines work perfectly for that.
But excess weight is a known risk factor for at least 13 different types of cancer While there is not yet a direct link between obesity and cancer, there is a known risk factor for at least 13 different types of cancer.
While obesity is not always the direct cause of death, it is correlated with a number of leading causes of death. The evidence is strong enough to make the argument that obesity is dangerous and can even kill.
- In 2015, 8.76 million people died from coronary heart disease, making it the leading cause of death worldwide.
- Stroke is the second leading cause of death in the world, killing 6.24 million people in 2015.
- 1.6 million people died from diabetes in 2015.
Unfortunately, obesity is a risk factor for all three.
Obesity rates are increasing rapidly worldwide.
Childhood obesity is becoming more common, and in some countries, more children are obese than adults. 39 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2020.
Carrying extra weight can put you at a higher risk for developing conditions like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and certain types of cancer, reduce the quality of your life and cause premature death.
Making people aware that obesity is not just a simple case of consuming more calories than are burned off will help the general public to understand and be more sympathetic to people who are having difficulty controlling their weight. People living with obesity should feel comfortable seeking professional help.
Focusing on good nutrition and teaching healthy eating habits is a good place to start.
Your Genetics are not Your Destiny
Obesity is a complex issue, but it’s still your responsibility to take care of your body and health. If you want to make a change, it’s a choice that you, and only you, can make.
There are many things that you can control, even though you are not be able to control everything.
There are many things you can do to improve your health and fitness. For example, you can work on your mindset, educate yourself on good nutrition, seek professional help, and make healthy choices about what you eat and drink and who you spend time with.
Basically, you can choose to get rid of the things that are holding you back and work on making yourself healthier, fitter, and in better shape.