The Connection Between Weight & Health

Blog SQThough being overweight will likely always be considered an additional health risk factor, the notion that overweight individuals are “doomed” is quite incorrect.

“Active obese individuals actually have lower morbidity and mortality than normal weight individuals who are sedentary … the health risks of obesity are largely controlled if a person is physically active and physically fit.” -The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports

Sure, we all know that being overweight is less healthy than carrying an “appropriate” amount of weight on our frames. We also know that excess body fat can lead to a host of serious health conditions – as well as body image and confidence issues for the individual. But the idea that those who are overweight cannot be considered healthy is a fallacy. Let’s explore the reasons why even those who are considered overweight can also fall into the “healthy” category.

  • Eating well: Those who may naturally be lumped into the overweight category can help stay healthy by eating well. Switching from butter, for example, to heart-healthy olive oil, does nothing to reduce calories or the fat content of food – but it can create a healthier individual by trading saturated fats and cholesterol for friendlier fats and zero cholesterol. Someone who tips the scales at a normal weight for his or her size may actually be in worse shape that someone who is overweight – much of it due to diet.
  • Exercising: A completely sedentary person who appears to be in good shape is actually at far greater risk of serious disease or ailments than an overweight individual who is active and exercises frequently. Looks can be deceiving, and the individual who is carrying twenty extra pounds of body fat – yet exercises often, may outlive the sedentary “thin” person by quite a margin. Exercise also strengthens the bones, which can lead to a better quality of life as the person ages – with less propensity for bone breaks and fractures from even minor falls.
  • Mental well-being: It is possible to be overweight and happy at the same time. Though the “lifestyle improvement” of weight loss is certainly hyped by weight clinics and the entire diet industry, those who are overweight can still find peace, calm, and joy. And, many thin individuals are stressed out, anxious, and so wound up that they find themselves succumbing to stress-related illnesses and conditions. Even if an individual is overweight, they can manage one facet of their health and wellness by addressing the stress in their life. Taking the time to meditate, relax, focus in an introspective manner, and otherwise redirect the stresses of life can work wonders for one’s mental well-being. And, that often translates into better physical health.

While the message is certainly not “eat what you want – you’ll be healthier,” there is no doubt that those who are overweight can oftentimes be healthier than individuals who are thin. These “normal” folks may live sedentary lifestyles, eat poorly, smoke, drink excessively, and involve themselves in dangerous behaviors. In the end, the important factor to consider is – can you continue to live a healthy lifestyle, while slowly gravitating towards the healthy-weight end of the BMI spectrum? Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and being classified as a healthy person will put a smile on your face when you see a new life insurance quote. Eating right, exercising, and taking care of one’s mental health are some of the important steps to take that will lead you to your goals.

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