by Tandis Bishop

You may have heard the term “healthy obesity” to describe people who are obese but don’t have medical conditions that often accompany obesity. However, researchers from the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute in Canada found that there is no such thing as healthy obesity.1 They followed over 61,000 people long enough to examine body mass index (BMI) and metabolic status (such as blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol) linked to cardiovascular events and death. Their research revealed that metabolically healthy overweight and obese people were still at risk for heart disease, stroke and reduced length of life.

There has been a lot of debate on this issue over the years, but this study provides strong evidence that we are not immune to the dangers of obesity regardless of how healthy we may appear. The report is very timely as the New Year is a great time to create a new outlook on health and weight management. Weight loss should be treated as positive, long-term action for long-term results! Many of us are victims of yo-yo diets and quick-fix treatments that never have lasting effects. The only way to truly lose weight, and keep it off, is to develop healthy habits that you can continue for the rest of your life. This requires dedication, hard work, and accountability.

The good news is that healthy habits become easier to maintain the longer you do them – they become second nature! You don’t need to deprive yourself of the foods you love, do the exercises you hate, and feel negatively about yourself. Chose healthy foods as often as possible but know that it’s okay to occasionally have a treat. Find a physical activity that you enjoy, whatever it may be. And have the positive attitude and confidence that a little willpower will go a long way!

There are countless resources and supports available to help you achieve a healthy weight and maintain it. Our Down to Earth Love Life! Team is a great resource to help ease your weight management efforts by giving you the tools you need to eat right! Take advantage of their healthy cooking workshops and free monthly cooking classes. For more information, visit https://www.downtoearth.org/recipes/cooking-classes. In addition, check out our Health Tip for fun ways to be active.

So, should you be complacent if your BMI is in the overweight or obese range but your blood work is normal? The answer is no. The risks may not be present today but obesity may eventually lead to negative long-term health consequences. Take control of your health now and empower yourself to live a long, healthy, and happy life!

Find out BMI for yourself and your family by using these calculators:

We recommend consulting with your primary care provider before starting any weight management program for you or your child.

Footnotes: 

Caroline K. Kramer, Bernard Zinman, Ravi Retnakaran; Are Metabolically Healthy Overweight and Obesity Benign Conditions?A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2013 Dec; 159(11):758-769.