Home Health Debates Can You Be Overweight AND Healthy?

Can You Be Overweight AND Healthy?

written by Head Health Nutter August 19, 2008

According to a recent study and article in today’s Metro, “Hefty, but healthy,” you can have a beach bod but be primed for a heart-attack while over half of overweight people are fairly healthy!

These results don’t really come as a surprise, though, do they?

Although extra weight burdens the heart, it is thin people that often have heart problems. Many of these “normal weight range” people have the luxury of being born with metabolisms of race horses. This is part of the problem as their outer appearances allow them to believe that they are safe to lead an unhealthy lifestyle without consequence.

What’s so great about this story is that it challenges both stereotypes and the standard method of calculating a healthy weight range.

The first implication shows that no matter your body type: thin, voluptuous or obese, you may be at risk for health troubles. The second calls into question the validity of how health professionals currently calculate healthy body weight. That is, the body mass index (BMI) which relies on a weight-height ratio and lacks in the ability to distinguish between fat and lean tissue – the real test of health and strength.

The article goes on to say that many experts purport that waist size is a better indicator of health risks, and the results of the study support this hypothesis.

While dispelling stereotypes is a positive thing, it is important to keep in mind that the study results should not be used to condone unhealthy habits or for being overweight. Extra fat does cause health issues in the long term and in the short-term affects daily energy levels, confidence and overall well-being.

And if it doesn’t – then good on ya! Live the life that makes you happy. But in my personal case, and with most people I know, extra weight weighs you down, both physically and mentally.

To be the devil’s advocate, though, fat protects us from many things, including the cold and environmental poisons that we are exposed to daily.

So what do you think, Readers? In terms of health, should being pleasantly plump become the ideal rather than becoming bikini ready?

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