5 Reasons “Thin” Doesn’t Mean “Healthy”
Being overweight is a top risk factor for a number of conditions.
But just because a person isn’t overweight, that doesn’t mean she’s healthy.
Thin and healthy
thin and healthy
#1 Being “skinny fat” can be dangerous.
Some people have genes that allow them to eat whatever they want, rarely exercise, and yet remain thin. But research shows that some people who appear thin can be metabolically obese; making them just as at risk for disease as people who are visibly overweight. Similarly, some people who have extra pounds can be healthy.
#2 All calories are not the same.
Many people believe that all calories are created equal. Yet processed foods often contain high levels of sugar and saturated and trans fats, which the body stores as visceral fat, a type of fat that increases the risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke and other medical conditions.
Doctors often assess body mass index (BMI), a weight-to-height ratio used to determine if someone is overweight. However, the test doesn’t distinguish between lean tissue and fat. For example, I weigh close to the same amount now as I did several years ago when I was less active. But I look and feel much fitter because my weight is now made up of more lean muscle mass. Body fat percentage or body composition (the percentages of fat, bone, water and muscle) is a better measure of health.
#4 Thin people don’t tend to consider themselves unhealthy.
Like my colleague, many people who appear thin and healthy, even if they are metabolically obese, may be less likely to get routine screenings or regular checkups.Because of this, they may have a number of risk factors they aren’t aware of. They may also be less motivated to exercise or eat well because a fast metabolism will keep them from gaining weight.
#5 Living vitally isn’t about weight.
High energy levels, disease prevention, reduced stress, feeling rested and balanced, good relationships—these are the things vital lives are made of. By focusing just on weight as a measure of wellness, you may miss out on all that a healthy lifestyle has to offer.