Why Is Being Overweight Bad for You?
Common sense tells us why being overweight is bad for you. I think we all agree with that, right? But is being a little overweight bad for you? And how much is a little bit? Is it 2 lbs., 5 lbs., 15 lbs., 20 lbs., More? Where is the cut-off point? Would the cut-off point be the same for everyone? Let’s start by talking about people who are very unfit or obese.
We are seeing an increasing number of articles in magazines and newspapers these days about managing your weight! They make it sound like being overweight is ok, it’s normal, and they offer suggestions to help you ‘Manage Your Weight’. Which of course you can do by following whatever diet or exercise program they are peddling at the moment.
The truth is, “it is not okay to be overweight”. Being
Managing Your Weight
And Managing your excess weight is not handling this problem. This is just trying to make the situation seem normal, rather than solving the problem.
Trying to make general health rules that apply to everyone is extremely difficult. As we age we become increasingly individualized. We grow up in different parts of the world, we eat different foods, cooked in different ways, some high fat, some low fat, some high in fruits and vegetables, some very low in fruits and vegetables, some high in protein content, some low in protein content.
Some of us have high stress lives, some low stress lives, some live in healthy environments and some in very unhealthy environments. A few people are highly educated, many are not. There are those with a physical structure which lends itself to being bulkier than others. Wealthy people can afford to eat well, and others can barely afford to eat!
All of these impacts are the result of secondary aging. See the Aging Curve for more details.
When I think about all the differences between us as we get older, I find it really hard to believe we can say that a certain number of lbs. overweight is bad for anyone. What does make sense to me is the following statement:
Being Overweight is bad for you when you have so much fat
that your health is negatively affected.
Ok, So How Much Weight is Overweight?
There are two numbers you can use to see if you have excess weight.
The first is body mass index, or BMI. It is an average and has some limits if you have a very muscular body or are older…but it is still a good rule of thumb!
Here is a link to an online BMI calculator.
You are said to be overweight if your score is 25 – 29.9 and obese if over 30. The higher the score the greater risk exposure you have.
The second is your waist size. Too much fat around your middle is the most detrimental type and can increase your risks more than too much fat elsewhere. It is subcutaneous fat (you can pinch it) as well as visceral fat which is in and around our organs. There is research saying an excess of visceral fat increases the chances of type 2 diabetes and all the many illnesses and problems related to that.
Women with a waist over 35 inches and men over 40 may have much higher chances of suffering from the health risks below.
Why Do We Get Overweight?
Sometimes it runs in the family, some people gain weight more easily than others. So, part of it is genetic, or hereditary. The rest of it is because of what is called secondary aging, and under this comes fast food and processed food. None of these are any good for you, in fact they are just plain bad for you!
Secondary aging is the sum of where you live, how you live, what your environment is like, have you suffered injuries, accidents, had diseases, are you physically active? Many people make bad food choices, some cannot make choices due to lack of money. Bad choices include excessive calories. There are those people who eat far too much due to emotional, stressful turmoil in their lives. They feel trapped and that there is no way out.
The end result is consuming far more food than is needed, so your body stores it as fat.
What Does Being Overweight Do to Your Body
These are the major health risks you face if you are overweight, and the more overweight you are, the greater the risk of one or more will impact you!
- type 2 diabetes
- high blood pressure
- heart disease and strokes
- certain types of cancer
- sleep apnea
- high cholesterol
- fatty liver disease
- kidney disease
- joint pain in hips, knees, ankles
What Can You Do About It?
If you do not live a lifestyle that controls your body…your body will deteriorate until it limits how you live your life.
The human body is extremely responsive to how we treat it. It is constantly regenerating most of its cells, think of your finger nails and hair. They are the most obvious parts we know are always growing because we see and feel them every day.
The rest of our body is made up of cells that may regenerate with-in days, weeks, months or years, such as cells in parts of our stomach, skin cells, and bones. Then there are teeth, that don’t regenerate at all.
Some of this we have little control over…but whether we are active or not has a tremendous impact on how our muscles, tendons and bones rebuild over time.
Our bodies are made to move, but if we don’t move we can’t build new muscle tissue. Instead, they get weaker.
If we don’t move, our bones rebuild themselves with less interlacing. As a result, they are less dense, and become more and more brittle. Then a simple fall can result in a broken wrist or broken hip.
Some people feel trapped in their lifestyle. They feel their overweight, unhealthy condition is part of their life, it is in their genes. It is just mean to be. That kind of thinking makes the situation easier to accept. And it is Not True.
You have total control over this.
- Do you know someone that cannot easily bend over to tie their shoes?
- Ever seen someone so heavy with bad ankles because they just cannot carry the weight anymore!
- Have you watched someone that cannot walk quickly due to excess weight?
- How many people do you see in the mall that likely cannot do even 1 or 2 pushups?
Now that you know why being overweight is bad for you, you can take control over your lifestyle. It is totally possible.
Check out the short ‘Aging Curve’ video and then rethink these questions.