The bias of some doctors makes people sicker, and reinforces the perception that people with large bodies are unhealthy.
This view was formulated by the health and media authorities’ insistence that weight and health are linked, and that thinness is ideal, and as for plump bodies, they are remarkable, to say the least.
Dr. Geoffrey Hounger, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Miami, has led a new research direction that has taken upon itself the task of reviewing the whole matter, and rethinking the relationship between “weight discrimination” and viewing obesity as “embarrassing.” After concluding that “the automatic link between a full body and ill health is not only misleading; it may also be dangerous,” because in fact “there is no strong evidence indicating that excess weight automatically leads to poor health.”
We don’t like to hear
An American report showed that “one of 5 middle-aged women has followed a diet in the past few years, and that most of them have felt failure after the return of their lost weight.”
Also, a study included about 100 thousand women. Less than 1% of older women achieved a “normal” weight, while the majority regained their weight again within 5 years.
So, Dr. Hounger says, “It is very difficult to lose weight in the long term, for reasons that have nothing to do with willpower; but simply because that may not be necessary.”
Meaning, “If your body is full, losing some pounds can protect your joints from inflammation and make it easier for you to exercise.” However, the focus remains on the general health status “more important than the scale indicator.”
Here are 7 facts that may make you feel better about your body, regardless of your weight.
Weight is not an accurate measure of health
No one can know whether a person is healthy or not, based on their weight. Researchers at the University of California and Minnesota evaluated nearly 20 studies and tracked data from more than 40,000 participants, half of whom were “overweight”, and more than a quarter of them were classified as “obese”, yet their lipid and glucose levels were good. Heart health is fine. Meanwhile, unhealthy results appeared in 30% of the “normal weight” participants.
This negates the relationship between weight loss and health. Because losing pounds of weight did not significantly reduce blood pressure, the risk of diabetes, or cholesterol. And linking weight gain with poor cardiovascular health, and being thin with health, is a long way off.
Healthy living is more important than a scale indicator
In the research of Dr. Hounger and colleagues reviewed several studies on weight and health before concluding that “healthy behaviors”, such as physical activity, eating nutritious foods, quitting smoking, and socializing enough to avoid isolation, reduce stress and manage depression, are what make us healthy, and help us Live longer, and get even heavy people to do healthier things like everyone else, ”instead of focusing all the attention on weight.
You can be fat and fit too
We might be accustomed to having more fat equals lack of fitness; But dr. Mary S. Himmelstein, assistant professor of psychological sciences at Kent State University (Ohio), tells us that “in fact, there is no relationship between physical fitness and weight.” Many women with a large body can easily run around other skinny women in the gym.
Calories aren’t the only factor in weight
Even if most doctors focus only on calories, weight remains a very complex topic, to the point that researchers have not yet understood all of the variables affecting it.
Says Dr. Himmelstein “There are many things that may affect your weight, including genetics, the medications you take, where you live, your standard of living, and your sleep pattern.”
Beware of being too skinny
But there is definitely a minimum to how thin you should be. A team of international researchers, when examining hundreds of studies with more than 30 million participants, discovered that “drowning in a very low BMI can make you feel bad”, after the index was criticized as a flawed measure; Because it does not differentiate between fat and muscle, it classifies people with a lot of muscle as “overweight,” and does not take into account ethnic differences by body type.
Some health care providers are biased
“Most people who are overweight have an experience of their doctors blaming them, or not listening to them,” Himmelstein tells us. This can lead to a vicious circle, in which women avoid going to the doctor. Because they don’t want to be ashamed of being obese.
In this way, the bias of some doctors can make people more sick and reinforce the perception that people with large bodies are unhealthy.
Eating healthy is enough
Eating more whole grains and plant-based foods, and less red meat and processed foods, is what makes the small, constant changes and gives you long-term health.
“Freedom from focusing on weight may benefit people even the thinnest ones, as they direct a lot of mental abilities and spend time and energy on utilizing their bodies, rather than reducing their size by dwelling on calories or carbohydrates,” says Himelstein.