Overweight and Obese are
Society's Labels - Not Mine
Distinctions such as overweight or obese
are society's labels, they do not define
who you are. People come in all sizes and
shapes. Height/Weight charts are woefully
inadequate as a basis for measuring true
health, yet we've relied on them for decades
as a measure of truth. Since they don't
take body composition (ratio of muscle to
fat) a body builder or elite athlete will
be considered overweight (according to the
charts) because they will weigh more than
the charts suggest they should. The athlete's
higher percentage of muscle and lower percentage
of fat indicates an increased level of fitness,
Consider two men, one a body builder who
is 6'2" and weighs 210 lbs. His bodyfat
is 7%, so roughly he has 14.7 lbs of fat
and 195.30 lbs of muscle. The other fellow
is 6'2" and weighs 200 lbs. He plays
a weekend game of golf and otherwise works
behind a desk and is 22% fat. That means
our 200 lb. fellow has 44 lbs of fat and
156 lbs of muscle. Obviously the 200 lb.
man is much wider than the 210 lb. man,
because muscle is more dense, and fat is
bulky. Remember the wheelbarrow Oprah used
to show the volume 40 lb. fat took? Imagine
carrying that around with you. Go to the
store and pick up a 1 lb. package of beef
and compare it to a 1 lb. package of lard.
You'll see the difference.
Additionally the height/weight chart values
are too high for short people and too low
for tall, yet they are used even in most
doctor's offices. The charts were designed
to give the insurance industry guidelines
for writing death policies. They were based
on the weights of average men and had nothing
whatsoever to do with health and/or fitness.
In fact, there never could be standard height/weight
charts because there would need to be such
a large variety of charts,it would render
the whole point moot. See Hall
MD for excellent information on the
If you do exercise, or even build muscle
the chart may suggest you are too heavy.
You might even hear your own doctor suggest
you lose weight. Trust yourself to know
what's best for you. Your true health is
based on how healthy you are inside and
out, your level of physical fitness, your
well being. Just because some height/weight
chart says you are not of the norm, i.e.
overweight, doesn't make it so.
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