The weight-centric approach to health is the most common, but least effective philosophy. A healthy metabolism is more important than numbers on a scale.
Despite what personal trainers, nutritional gurus and the diet industry have been telling you all of these years, weight loss and weighing less is not the key to living a healthy lifestyle. As a matter of fact, there have been studies that show weight loss can increase the risk of premature death from heart disease. But these findings haven’t dissuaded the forces that perpetuate the notion that thin is in.
Rather than worry about numbers on a scale, people need to get metabolically fit. Metabolic fitness, and not the Body Mass Index or some height/weight chart, is the key to people living a healthier lifestyle. I’ve written about the concept of “health at every size,” and at the heart of this notion is metabolic fitness.
Metabolic fitness is when the body has improved insulin sensitivity and is achieved when people eat healthfully and increase their level of regular exercise. Metabolic fitness doesn’t have anything to do with how much a person weighs.
Despite the din of the drumbeat that’s being laid down by the diet industry and their lackeys in the media, some experts have started to speak out, stating that the obesity epidemic has been extremely overstated. In an article that appeared on the Associated Press’ Health and Wellness wire service several researchers spoke out against the idea that there is an obesity epidemic.
According to Dr. Vincent Marks emeritus professor of clinical biochemistry at the University of Surrey in England, “The obesity epidemic has absolutely been exaggerated.” Dr. Marks and other non-conformists, who refuse to consider obesity to be a plague, point out that there is hardly a consensus with regard to the data that supposedly “proves” that fat causes high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer.
Professor of political science at the University of Chicago Eric Oliver and author of the book “Fat Politics” says, “There’s no good causal connection,” that shows that being fat is dangerous. Excess weight is just a symptom and there’s no data that shows that added weight causes any diseases.
There has been a wealth of evidence that shows that lifestyle issues are more important than matters of weight when it comes to health. Yet the diet industry keeps telling people to lose weight, and pulls out the big lie that obesity kills 300,000 Americans every year. This “obesity kills” number is a great example of how statistics can be manipulated in order to further an agenda rather than educate people or clarify an issue.
In 1993 the Journal of the American Medical Association published an article titled “Actual Deaths in the United States,” and in this article 300,000 deaths per year were attributed to “diet/activity patterns” and not obesity. The diet industry and so-called fitness experts, to further their weight-centric agenda, and to sell diets, dietary supplements and related product to the masses, use this manipulated statistic. This is pure and simple a scare tactic.
There is a huge difference between a physical trait – obesity – and behaviors such as diet and exercise. Anyone who equates them is intellectually dishonest and should not be taken seriously. And to make matters worse, the weight-centric crowd makes a habit of treating anyone who they consider to be overweight as having a problem.
These people truly believe that you cannot be fit and fat, and are willing to doom people to a lifetime of externally regulated eating and obsessive exercise. Personal trainers of the type seen in television shows like “The Biggest Loser” totally ignore the fact that the American Medical Association has published the findings of a study conducted by the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that shows overweight people live longer than normal-weight people, and that there are more than a dozen other instances of similar findings. These television fitness evangelists don’t care about the facts because they are trying to sell people on weight loss programs, supplements and related nonsense. After all, there’s a lot less money to be made as a result of telling people that they don’t need to buy something.
There’s not a heck of a lot of money in telling people to go for a walk 5-times a week. So the multi-billion dollar a year diet industry just keeps telling the masses that they are too fat, unhealthy and that they are going to die early and awful deaths.
If you want to drive one of these weight-obsessed types crazy tell them how researchers have found that researchers have found that overweight people have a lower death risk and that there is almost no relationship between weight and death rates. But there’s gold in getting people to think they have to get and stay thin. Pills, surgeries, diets, etc.
Being healthy isn’t about exercising every day or setting a goal weight. And being unhealthy doesn’t begin and end with the scale.