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Obese, but healthy?

Researchers have long known that excess weight doesn't affect everyone the same way. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index of 30 or over, a measure that includes height and weight but not other related measures like the ratio of muscle mass to fat. At the population-wide level, BMIs over 30 are associated with numerous health problems, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. But the measurement is less sensitive when it comes to predicting individual health.

Starting in the 1960s, researchers noted that some obese individuals didn't have the hallmarks of weight-related illnesses. Some had normal blood cholesterol and normal insulin sensitivity, meaning they lacked risk factors for heart disease and diabetes.

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Asked by tasches at 6:52 PM on Oct. 3, 2010 in Health

Level 48 (298,202 Credits)
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Answers (10)
  • well i know that every time i go to the dr and the nurse takes my blood pressure she is very shocked at how healthy and "normal" it is. i can also exercise w/ the skinniest of people. my BMI is 30.4

    my OBGYN also told me last week (at my preggo check up) that he usually gives a little lecture/lesson on eating healthy to his obese moms, but since my BP was so good and my blood surgar was healthy he wasnt going to waste my or his time.

    Answer by okmanders at 6:58 PM on Oct. 3, 2010

  • I believe that obestiy will take it's toll if that be sooner or later, they won't be as well of as they could have been it they were a healthy weight

    Answer by Liz132 at 6:58 PM on Oct. 3, 2010

  • BMI isn't very good. I have friends who have so much muscle mass they show up as "obese" and they are not. Also each body works so differently. I know a ppl twice my size who are in way better shape than I am. Yes eating healthy and exercising is how we take care of the body but healthy is not a look or a BMI or a weight. It is what is going on inside the body that matters.... and the pics we see on our Tv's and magazines are by no means healthy, unless airbrushing and starving the body have something to do with health that i don't know about.

    Answer by KaraMia15 at 7:10 PM on Oct. 3, 2010

  • Everything I have read for years has reported that the body mass index is notoriously unreliable. There are just too many factors regarding a person's weight and not everyone can be accurately indexed. The only thing that is certain is being very overweight is as bad as being very underweight.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:10 PM on Oct. 3, 2010

  • I just laugh at the BMI. According to it my hubby at 6'1" should weigh a max of about 180lbs to be a "healthy" weight. Yet when he was assessed by a professional football team during training camp he was told that at 0% body fat he'd still weigh 245lbs because of his muscle mass and bone density (he literally has big thick bones). At 6'1" and 245 he'd be considered obese - yet have no body fat?! Yeah, I really don't buy into the BMI scale because it doesn't take body type into consideration at all.

    Not that it gives anyone a free pass to be overweight, but I do believe that it is possible to be not only overweight, but obese and healthy. Probably even more so than being underweight - especially significantly underweight.

    Answer by canadianmom1974 at 8:51 PM on Oct. 3, 2010

  • BMI is so inaccurate. According to it, I am morbidly obese. However, I am perfectly capable of swimming a mile at the Y, my cholesterol and glucose levels are great. People are not cookie cutter. You can't just get someone's height and weight and look at a chart to determine that. It was like when I was in the navy and to do body fat percentage, they would measure our necks, waist, hips, combine the waist and hips and subtract from the neck or something like that. Then they would take that number, go to their chart and come up with someone's body fat.

    Answer by Izsarejman at 9:32 PM on Oct. 3, 2010

  • If we were all created equal, then sure these "scientific" measures would be accurate. However, we are NOT created equal. For my height, I'm supposed to weigh no more than 105 pounds. At that weight I look anorexic. Women are supposed to have some body fat. It's needed to regulate hormones. According to scientific guidelines, most healthy people are considered obese.

    Supposedly, I'm morbidly obese. However, I'm still very active walking, biking, keeping up with my kids, swimming, gardening, etc...

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 7:30 AM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • before the bmi, we considered our body frame when looking for an ideal weight for us, like a small medium or large frame. because the bmi range is so broad, i think it could be divided into thirds for each height, the bottom 1/3 for the small framed bodies, etc.

    as far as muscle mass putting you into the obese category...the thinking is that your heart is a muscle, and carrying too much weight, be it in muscle or in fat is too much load for your heart.

    i believe that if you are honestly eating very well and exercising well and live your life in a very well balanced manner then you will achieve optimum health for you.

    i do believe that obesity might catch up with you sooner or later, just as poor diet might, and poor living habits might.

    each body does work differently. we see people that live to be 100, and have spent their adult life smoking...that is not supposed to happen right?

    i believe health is about the balance.

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 7:24 PM on Oct. 3, 2010

  • no such can't be fat and not saying you gotta be thin to be healthy, but i donot think that you can be fat and healthy

    Answer by barefootbchbum at 7:38 PM on Oct. 3, 2010

  • maybe it is "normal" for right now...but who knows how things can change in 10 years? 5 years? 1 year?

    Answer by stressedmomma13 at 1:01 AM on Oct. 4, 2010