How Important is Body Weight?

The height/weight charts of yesteryear and the body mass index (BMI) are completely irrelevant in determining how healthy you are.

All you need is a full length mirror and the knowledge of how human beings should look. Men, you should be pretty straight up and down both side on and full on if you suck in your abs. The love handles are nothing to worry about – Michelin tyres are a different matter! Women, you should go in at the waist without too many rolls. We hate the blubber that we can grab hold of but as long as it is not too much more than we can grab and we can detect the underlying muscle, there is little health-wise to concern us. There is new evidence that having a few more pounds than the BMI says you should have actually can prolong your life. Also, a bit of superficial padding over our skeletons protects our bones (especially as we age) and internal organs from injury.

If we have been made from the right nutrients, we can indeed have “heavy bones” and they will usually have been well formed too. So how does this get measured using the BMI? Large, heavy bones are literally the backbone to our strength and the ability to perform the physical functions we need to. What of the “thin fat people”?   Their BMI will be perfectly fine, but regrettably, their health will not. These people may be the ones with small light bones but considerable and dangerous intra-abdominal or visceral fat, wrapped around vital organs. They look slim but slim does not equal healthy and this is what we all generally believe. It’s an illusion, much encouraged by the massive slimming business.

276475_chicken_salad_iiWe now have a very unhealthy obsession with calories and unfortunately, it is this that often influences the choice between a food which is “good” or “bad” to consume. It is what makes a person choose rice cakes with low fat spread, salad and tuna (nutrient poor) instead of buttered sourdough, oil-dressed salad and cold chicken (nutrient rich).

Food manufacturers state on packaging not only calories but fats, carbohydrates, salt and protein because these nutrients are the ones that the media invariably link with poor health states. The fact that they don’t state the vitamins, minerals and other vital nutrients (unless they have been added to make the product look healthier) speaks volumes and these are the only ones that really matter. Perhaps the answer is to buy foods that are entirely natural, organic, unprocessed and complete with their natural fat?

What you put into your mouth, chew, swallow, absorb and utilize is the most important factor for your health – that,  you can control.

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