Overweight and healthy?
People who are overweight can be considered healthy if their waist size is less than 35 inches for women or 40 inches for men, and if they have only one or none of following conditions: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol, according to the National Institutes of Health’s report, Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. These findings are promising especially among overweight individuals (BMI of 25-29.9) with a healthy diet, smoke-free practices, and the absence of significant medical problems or family history for chronic diseases.
The bottom line appears to be that your fitness level seems to be more important than your weight, but less so if you have obesity or severe obesity. A person who is about 30 pounds above ideal weight (BMI of 30.0-39.9) has obesity, and someone who is more than 100 pounds over their healthy body weight (BMI greater than 40) has severe obesity. Obesity is more strongly linked with negative outcomes, and the loss of disease-free years increases as obesity becomes more severe in both women and men, among smokers and non-smokers, the physically active and inactive, and across income groups.
Over half the adults in Ohio will have obesity by 2030.
According to a recent article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the national prevalence of adult obesity is projected to rise to 48.9% and severe obesity is projected to rise to 24.2% by 2030. The estimates for Ohio are not good. It is estimated that by 2030, 53.2% of adult Ohioans will have obesity and 26.8% will have severe obesity.
Do we see weight status accurately?
Research shows that individuals with overweight and obesity often don’t see themselves as such. Both parents and healthcare professionals fail to recognize overweight and obesity among their children and patients. It could be that as the prevalence of obesity has increased, views of what is “normal” have resulted in underestimating overweight and obesity.
See your BMI clearly.
BMI values help assess whether someone is at a healthy body weight. The same math formula, using a person’s height and weight measurements, applies to calculating BMI for both men and women. For most people, the BMI along with waist size is a good assessment of body fat, overweight, and one’s risk for obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Online BMI calculators can help you determine your BMI, if you have accurate height and weight measurements to enter. A BMI of 18.5-24.9 is considered to be a “normal” healthy weight.
In their book, The Economists’ Diet, Christopher Payne and Rob Barnett apply economic principles to weight loss. They suggest that by weighing yourself often—indeed everyday—you will be able to associate your behaviors with your weight. Checking weight daily can help individuals detect patterns and regain the ability to gauge the quantity of food they can eat without packing on the pounds.
See changes in the new year.
Weight management approaches like daily weigh-ins and balancing calorie counts will work well for some people. Of course, individuals burn calories at different rates and each person is affected by different genetics, so there is no single weight loss formula for everyone. Be sure to consult with a qualified health professional and avoid the pitfalls of fad diets, rapid weight loss plans, and yo-yo dieting.
More importantly, healthy eating and regular exercise are great for your health whether or not they lead to weight loss. Losing just a little weight can boost your health without necessarily moving your BMI into the “normal” range. Losing as little as 5%-10% of body weight is linked to improved cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels.
Improving your habits — especially eating more healthfully and getting regular exercise – will enhance more than the numbers on the scale. Even so, you might be more motivated to improve and find it easier to monitor changes if you take a clear look at the numbers on the scale in 2020.