If a person is very active and seems physically fit, does it matter if she’s also overweight?
Can Fat & Healthy Coexist?
Yes, it matters. According to a recent study of over 520,000 subjects, published in the European Heart Journal, no matter how physically fit you are, extra weight increases your risk of heart disease by 25%—even when everything else tests in the normal range.
Both the International Agency for Research and the Centers for Disease Control, after reviewing more than 1,000 studies, link the risk of developing 13 kinds of cancer to the degree of being overweight—the more overweight, the higher the risk. As more young people are becoming overweight, many of these cancers are increasingly being diagnosed among them. These include cancers of the liver, gallbladder, colon and rectum, upper stomach, pancreas, uterus, ovary, kidney and thyroid; breast cancer in postmenopausal women, some brain cancers, and multiple myeloma (a form of blood cancer). Nearly half of all cancers in people younger than 65 were associated with being overweight or obese.
MODERATE WEIGHT GAIN
During July of 2017, the Harvard School of Public Health reported in JAMA that 23% of women and 13% of men gained 44 pounds or more between the ages of 18 and 55. It was also noted that even such moderate weight gains increased the risk of obesity-related cancers.
Those extra pounds are also major risk factors in other illnesses, including: Type 2 diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, gout, gallbladder disease, and respiratory disorders like sleep apnea and asthma.
Obesity between the ages of 6 to 11, is now at 17%. By young adulthood (ages 20 to 29) it doubles, to 34%. How come? Some blame the prevalence of high-calorie snacks and fast foods, and the decrease in physical activities, both in and outside of school. The problem can start as early as when babies are weaned and first able to eat solid foods. Too often they are allowed to nibble on the high calorie snack foods the rest of the family enjoys, starting a life long habit of overeating and poor nutrition.
IT’S HARD TO LOSE WEIGHT AND KEEP IT OFF
Everyone who has dieted knows how hard it is. In fact, it’s just as hard as it is to stop smoking, give up alcoholic drinks, or get off addictive drugs. But it’s worth it to live a longer, healthier life. And it’s especially worth helping your children stay within the boundaries of proper nutrition and a reasonable amount of exercise, so they’ll never be faced with this problem.
It always matters that you are overweight. Even if you exercise faithfully and are always full of energy, being overweight will still increase your risk of getting a long list of unpleasant and potentially fatal diseases.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
• blog.myfitnesspal.com - Can you be heart healthy and obese?
• academic.oup.com - 2017 European Heart Journal study challenging concept of “healthy” obesity
• nytimes.com - Increasing impact of obesity and younger people—from childhood into middle age
• nhlbi.nih.gov - What is sleep apnea?