Size may or may not matter
Can You Be Healthy at any Size?
There are two sides to every coin. And as far as your health is concerned there are two schools of thoughts that hold two diverse opinions. On one hand we have that set of doctors and experts who argue that being overweight does not necessarily mean you’re unhealthy and on the other hand there are those who say size matters. So, we bring to you both sides of the story.
The Case For:
A group of doctors and experts, who are spear heading the fat-acceptance movement, argue that lifestyle and genetics are what determine a woman’s health. Being healthy does not depend only on your dress size or what your weight is. It also depends on your lifestyle choices too. ,
BMI or Body Mass Index
Doctors have long used BMI to measure whether a patient weighs healthy. If your BMI is above normal, then you are at risk of developing numerous diseases. But recent research on these aspects of weight, BMI and health show otherwise. Paul Campos, author of ‘The Obesity Myth: Why America’s Obsession with Weight Is Hazardous to Your Health.’ writes about studies that found people with higher than normal BMI have lower incidence of diseases like chronic bronchitis, anaemia, osteoporosis and lung cancer. For instance, in the case of osteoporosis, a little extra mass helps strengthen bones.
Campos’ view is reinforced in a long term study published in the journal ‘Obesity’, which found that people with high BMI scores, indicating that they are overweight, have a lower risk of mortality than any other weight group. Therefore, BMI may not be the best barometer for determining health.
Pear shaped Women
According to Konstantinos Manolopoulos, an Oxford University researcher, thigh, hip and butt fat are chemically very stable, and stable fat traps harmful compounds released during digestion. Thigh fat also secretes adiponectin, which helps the body metabolize sugar and leptin, which regulates appetite.
The Case Against
The anti-fat acceptance camp, on the other hand, says that weight loss may be difficult, but it is still a better option for better health. For instance, there is research showing that extra weight can increase a woman’s risk of developing a number of medical conditions, including breast cancer.
The other thing to consider is that weight gained through overeating may cause fat placement anywhere in the body. And abdominal fat, unlike thigh fat, is not beneficial. Neither is visceral fat, which may not be visible, but which coats internal organs, releasing inflammatory fatty acids that have been linked to cancer and coronary disease.
Exercise, The Middle Path
The one point on which both sides agree is that fitness is the key ingredient and weight matters less than the type of body fat. Exercise, everyone concurs, is crucial - it reduces mortality rates. Aerobic exercise and resistance training, attack both the visible fat around your middle and the invisible deposits padding your visceral organs.
So, going by the general consensus – stay active a little exercise goes a long way, whatever your dress size!
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Feb 02, 2013
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