How much does weight factor in health levels?
by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted
Does Exceeding Standard Weight Guides Make You Unhealthy, or More Healthy?
The big weight question……..no pun intended but did you catch the news yesterday about the new study published in JAMA that suggests that weighing more than the standard guides say you should weight might actually protect you from some diseases?
My personal feeling has always been that the guidelines are a little on the starving side. I’m one of those who grew up with a grandma who fed her family to “put a little meat on their bones”. Her choices were those of every other poor farmer in Alabama – homemade bisquits cooked with lard and white flour, fried ham or bacon and homemade gravy (made with white flour and meat grease)….typical breakfast. You get the idea.
Yet, for all the flaws in that dietary regimen, there was also something in me that resonated with the idea that a little fat on the bones was preferable to being bone-skinny. Although it certainly would have been healthier had I packed on a few extra pounds through whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, and lean chicken or fish, I don’t know that the pounds themselves were ever a health issue for me.
If it were not for the magazines and models, I don’t think I would ever have thought that my extra 20 pounds over the guidelines for my height were a beauty issue or a health issue.
I don’t think anyone disagrees that obesity is unhealthy. I’m not talking about being overweight to the degree that it overtaxes the heart or that it stresses the hips and knee joints.
But is weighing 20 pounds more than the current guidelines say you should, a health problem? I don’t believe so.
Will having those extra pounds offer any type of protection against certain diseases? I don’t think that’s been proven. However, I feel that it might eventually be proven that those extra pounds send a signal to the body that all is well. I believe it’s healthier.
From what I’ve read, being overweight is still considered to increase risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and certain types of cancer.
If you wanta read more about the study, here’s a reprint online:
a few extra pounds won’t kill you, study says. Related articles: How effective are herbal body wraps for weight loss?