This question has been answered one hundred ways throughout the years. Finally, professional exercise and health scientists are trying to lay this question to rest. Due to many different factors, studies and tests, their answer is: being overweight cannot be considered healthy. In reality, it is a difficult question to answer. Everyone is different, not only in weight but also in health. In this blog, we are going to answer the question of “why does being overweight means unhealthy?”
What is Being Overweight and How Does it Happen?
To identify if a person is overweight or obese, the BMI or Body Mass Index is used. It is a statistical measurement derived from weight and height. If a person’s BMI is 30 or over, they are considered obese; 25 and 29.9 are considered overweight. People can become obese or overweight by consuming too many calories, leading a “lazy” lifestyle or not getting enough physical activity. Unhealthy sleeping patterns, taking medications that cause weight gain and genetics are also considered a factor.
The term “obesity gene” might seem completely unreal but is very real. This “obesity gene” is actually called FTO and it affects many people. According to a study published by a group of scientists from University College London, 1 in every 6 people overeat. People who carry this obesity gene or FTO tend to prefer fatty foods. They tend to eat too much and are usually obese or overweight. This is according to Rachel Batterham, a lead researcher. It takes people much longer to feel satisfied or full after meals if they carry this gene.
Gaining a few pounds over the week or after a food-filled holiday might seem normal or harmless but the unhealthy weight gain process happens very fast. The problem about gaining weight is that it is incredibly easy to put on but very difficult to lose. Once a person is considered overweight or obese, it is more difficult to lose weight. Even people who are considered “metabolically healthy” can still suffer from the same health effects of obesity. It is more than important to keep an eye on our calorie intake, our diets, and our regular physical activity to keep fit and healthy.
Overweight and Obesity – What effects does it have on the body?
People who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of developing diseases and are at high risk of living unhealthy lifestyles. It is completely understandable that obesity and overweight are considered unhealthy when you look at the list of dangerous effects it has on the body.
Type 2 Diabetes – Up to 90 percent of people suffering from type 2 diabetes have obesity or are overweight. This is due to the pressure on their body’s ability to produce and use insulin properly to control blood sugar levels. This causes an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Obesity can actually lead people to be insulin resistant.
Heart Disease and More – Increased cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease, and stroke risks are increased by obesity and overweight. Metabolic syndrome risks are also increased by these weight-related problems. Osteoarthritis, gallbladder and even some cancers are related to overweight and obesity.
Pregnancy Problems – For any woman, these two words together are already frightening. Obesity or being overweight does not affect pregnancy in a positive way. It increases the risk of pregnancy complication; including stillbirth, miscarriage and gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is characterized by signs of damage to organ systems such as kidneys and high blood pressure. There is already a long list of health requirements when it comes to having a healthy pregnancy and having a healthy weight is one of them.
Mental Health Issues – Although it may be hard to believe, obesity and overweight can cause psychological consequences. It can lower self-esteem, cause anxiety and chronic depression. It can also lead to more serious eating disorders, including bulimia and anorexia. The reasons for these health problems are quite simple: pressure from society. In today’s world, a slim, toned body is considered the standard for the beauty around the world, which causes people to feel insecure, anxious and depressed about their physical appearance.
Healthy Ways of Avoiding Obesity and Becoming Overweight
Choose a healthier diet– A healthy diet isn’t as complicated and intimidating as it may seem. Simply eating more fruits and veggies, sticking to low-fat, high-fiber foods can be a big step in avoiding or fighting against obesity and unhealthy weight gain. Consuming less fatty and sugary foods and using vegetable-based oils rather than animal-based fats are also great ways of keeping your overall calorie intake down.
Do more physical activity – Exercise and physical activity are the main and most important points of staying healthy and strong. Exercise not only helps you lose weight, it also helps you keep it off. A steady routine of any type of physical activity will not only help keep your weight down, but it will also promote healthy sleep and lower chances of heart disease. Physical activity helps with stress, anxiety and depression, which are all caused by obesity and overweight.
Lead a healthier lifestyle – By using your time in a healthier manner, you can avoid unhealthy eating patterns. Instead of sitting in front of the TV, take a small walk around the neighborhood. Instead of being on your computer or your mobile phone, play one of your favorite sports. Find new hobbies that are healthier, such as gardening, simple sports, swimming or anything that includes small amounts of physical activity. Most importantly, keep an eye on your weight and the way that you use your time. Every little bit counts when avoiding or fighting obesity.
A Journey to a Healthier Life
Answering the question “does being overweight always mean being unhealthy?” Yes, it sadly does. By reviewing the effect obesity has on our psychological and physical health, it is sadly true that being overweight is not good for our health. However, there are many ways of staying healthy and avoiding these weight-related problems. The first step to a healthier lifestyle is to want to make the change. Find your reason and remind yourself that wanting to live a healthier life is an amazing goal. Make sure to let the people around you and your loved ones know what you are trying to achieve.
Having support and encouragement is incredibly important when it comes to changing the way you live. If at any point of your healthy journey you feel the need to receive professional health, do not hesitate to contact places that can help you achieve your goal. There are Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC in the United States that are there specifically to help people with these types of problems. Never be afraid of asking for help. Thousands of people are at your side, trying to achieve the same goal and you can use it as an inspiration to work harder.