The 20-26th January is the 20th National Healthy Weight Week, where we celebrate the importance of a healthy, fad-free lifestyle to encourage a lifetime free of weight problems. We can’t all have the “perfect’ figure. But we can all accept our natural body shapes and make sure that we stay happy and healthy through maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Maintaining a healthy weight doesn’t just affect you, it affects your whole family. Research by the National eating Disorders Association shows that half American teen girls develop an eating disorder at some point during their adolescence. What’s more, nearly half of grade 3-6 girls want to be thinner.
Healthy Weight Week is a time to focus on diet-free, healthy living, promoting life-long habits to keep the family healthy, such as eating well, being active and feeling good about yourself.
Why is Healthy Weight so Important?
Keeping a healthy weight is important in adults and children for their overall health. It can help to control diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and cancer in later life. Not only that, but getting and staying healthy makes you feel better about yourself, increases confidence and can combat depression.
What Determines a Person’s Weight?
Your weight, and the weight of your children, will be determined by a number of factors. Your height, genes, metabolism, how active you are, environment and what you eat will all affect how much you weigh. What is a healthy weight for one person may not necessarily be achievable or healthy for another.
Because your weight is affected not only by your height but your build and bone structure, the Body Mass Index (or BMI) is the most frequently used method to gauge whether or not a person’s weight is healthy. The BMI takes your height and weight and gives you a number. Generally a BMI of under 18.5 means that you are underweight, 18.5-24.9 means you are a healthy weight, 25.0-29.9, you are overweight, 30-39.9, is a sign of obesity and 40 and over means that you are morbidly obese.
The ranges are broad to accommodate differences in body shape. For example, the calculator may overestimate the proportion of body fat in athletes and people with a larger, muscular build, or underestimate the body fat in the elderly or people who have lost muscle. Generally speaking if you have a BMI of 30 or over you are at significantly increased risk of developing obesity related conditions.
Waist hip ratio
Another factor that can be considered in assessing whether or not an individual’s weight is healthy is their waist measurement. Increased body fat around the waist indicates a higher risk of weight-related conditions, as it puts more strain on the heart. Males with a waist of over 40 inches, and females with a waist of over 35 inches are at greater risk.
Is Your Weight Healthy?
You can calculate your BMI here. If you are unhappy with your weight or are at risk of developing weight-related health problems, this week is about turning away from diet pills and fad diets that help you to lose weight, only to put it back on again. These measures only make you feel worse about yourself than when you started.
Healthy Weight Week is about finding long term solutions to your health, like small changes you can make for you and your family; changes in diet and being more active. For some, this may not be enough. Weight loss surgery is a method increasingly recommended by doctors to return obese patients to a healthy weight, changing their lifestyle permanently and allowing them to achieve and maintain a happy, healthy weight.
Angeles Health is a network of 22 hospitals, committed to improving patients’ lifestyles. From cancer treatment to joint replacements to weight loss surgery, we believe that living a healthy lifestyle will improve your quality of life, helping you and your family to live happier, healthier and for longer.
If you want to learn more about the range of procedures available to you at Angeles health, contact us today.