Member Comments for the Article:

Can You Be Overweight and Healthy?

Getting to the Weight of the Matter

55 Comments



  • Oh how can I relate to "Lori" I just recently went through the same things BPperfect Cholestrol perfect sugar perfect I have lost 62 pounds at visit she ( doctor) told me to lose 20 pounds and then sent a bill to my health inurance for OBESITY COUNSELING ! I was ticked off when I was at teh doctor but once I got the notification from teh insurance company I was very very unhappy with all the work I have put into this journey so I'm 15 to 20 pounds heavier then the doctor believes I should be I'm exteremly healthy except for "RAD". - 7/5/2012 5:55:48 PM
  • I understand your size doesn't necessarily make you fit or unfit but I hope people don't think you can exercise and still not follow a sensible eating plan. Sensible being defined as 90/10. Healthy eating and within your allotted calories 90% of the time, while having a splurge the other 10% of the time. You cannot, no matter how hard you try, out exercise a bad diet.

    I know people do not want to use that dirty "D" word...diet. But those changes are important and necessary! Call it what you want, eating healthier, choosing to not eat like crap, lifestyle change, whatever, changing the intake of your food is a MUST!

    I believe just as much emphasis has to be put on one as the other. Diet and Exercise go hand in hand and it sucks when you FINALLY understand that, and you realize just what that means and what you have to be willing to do but it's worth it. Not easy by any means, but absolutely worth it!

    Everything on TV or magazine articles seem to want us to do this one extreme thing for X amount of time and then POOF, you will have the body you never thought you could and be "healthy and fit". There is no ONE THING that will make you fit and healthy and there is no "end". You choose to eat healthier and exercise. That becomes your life, not for 60 days or 90 days, for the rest of your life. Just like this article said, there are many factors to be considered in determining health, likewise, you must make multiple changes in your life to get on the road to a healthier you.

    I don't think one success story from SparkPeople will tell you that the weight they have lost and their accomplishments have been easy but they will all agree it's been worth it. And after reading several success stories on Spark, I have noticed they all have one thing in common...they changed their eating habits and they exercised!

    The article points out the obvious...that making multiple changes to eating and including exercise is daunting. Yeah well no kidding, of course it is! That is why it takes people so many tries and attempts to lose the weight. It is certainly daunting but it is not impossible and it's not fast either! That is what people lose sight of sometimes. This is certainly the stupidity that Lori's doctor suffers from...thinking weight loss is fast. Weight loss is gradual. Weight loss from exercise and healthier eating tends to be permanent weight loss!

    Keep doing what you're doing Lori! - 7/5/2012 4:56:09 PM
  • GYMRATWANNABE
    Overweight, yes. Obese ... no way.

    Also, it depends on what we are qualifying as body fat.

    If more people got their ACTUAL body fat percentages done - via water weighing - I think most of the so-called - "fit fat" people would have a lower body fat percentage, placing them in the average to fitness category.

    If however, we are going by just the BMI tables, a 5'7" a person who weighs 155 to 180 is overweight. Again, I can see that. But anything over 180 is obese. Frankly, that seems right to me. A 5'7" person over 180 can't be healthy. Period.

    - 7/5/2012 4:17:07 PM
  • My employer (a hospital) has a healthy living insentive program that gives us the opportunity to remove 20.00 per paycheck off of our insurance premium. Each one of the fitness goals is worth 4 bucks. They check BP, Cholesterol, A1c for blood sugar patterns, smoking/non-smoking and weight. We go through biometric testing to determine our results and although I am considered morbidly obese I qualified for 4 of the 5 incentives and get 16.00 per pay removed from my insurance premium.

    I'm not saying that this extra weight is a good idea, it is breaking down my skeletal structure, I need a knee replacement. But, otherwise, I am healthy. It is partly genetic as my dad's family all have great health, even those with weight issues.

    My sister-in-law weighs about 115 and takes medicine for high blood pressure, her cholesterol is bad and at 32 she is already developing a hump in her back from weak muscles and poor posture.

    I think there is more to obesity than simply weak willpower and maybe this will get the researchers looking for some sort of answer.

    Nice article - 7/5/2012 3:30:15 PM
  • ALICOTTER
    The answer to the main question is yes.
    I am lucky that while I have lost weight but am still a big girl, and still classed as obese.My doctor is very supportive. In fact tells me that I am one of her healthiest clients not lcounting what the scale says. At my regular physical it was noted that i had gain weight. But my doctor was not worried. I have been doing a lot of weight training and she was well aware my weight gain was muscle. All my blood level are in the healthy range, I workout on average 120 mins a day of cardio and weights. I also walk daily with my dogs. I eat healthy. But with a thyroid condition it has been hard to get the weigh off. My doctor notes that while I still have belly fat I am solid muscle on the rest of my body. And as she points out when your 51 year old female client can bench press more than you weight you don't really want to tell her she isn't trying hard enough. LOL (for the record that is 155lbs) - 7/5/2012 2:18:16 PM
  • Like JEANUT I am blessed with a great doctor. As I am losing weight, he is encouraging, spends a lot of time talking about what I am doing to improve my health, and he doesn't just give me advice; he wants to hear about things that he can pass along to other patients. (He was very interested in Sparkpeople.) It's too bad doctors, especially family practice-types, don't get more training in health and nutrition AND in compassion for those of us who struggle. Mine would be a good teacher. - 7/5/2012 11:24:06 AM
  • STEVIE74
    I had that same type of doctor telling me to go on a diet too regardless of how much I exercise and then at the same time, he told me I should exercise more. I was already doing so much at that time, and he really frustrated me. I am now exercising at least one hour from Monday thru Friday and between 1-2 hours on the weekends. I give myself one day off in the middle of the week to rest. I'm still consider overweight but I felt great after working out. It doesn't look like I lost a lot of weight though. I, of course, am worried about the next meeting with this doctor. If he tells me once more that I should diet more, I'm getting a different doctor. I will not put up with that. - 7/5/2012 10:59:59 AM
  • CROSE33
    I was struck by this since I just got back from visiting my skinny and very unfit relative in the hospital. He nearly died, lost a limb, and is very slowly recovering. He is fighting eating since he has a feeding tube (he lost 15 pounds he could ill lose). I helped him with his physical therapy (which was familiar to me from my daily gym visits) and was trying to help the nurses convince him that he needs the nutrition, especially protein) of real food to heal. He says to me, The feeding tube gives me all the nutrition I need, why should I eat more than I need like you. Of course I am overweight, but I have excellent BP, cholesterol levels, and work out hard 6 times a week and am slowly losing. All he sees is that I am still fat while he lies there skinny and nearly dead. I was so sad. Clearly we both have an eating problem, but mine is the only one acknowledged. - 7/5/2012 9:58:26 AM
  • If your watch the HBO Documentary on YOUTUBE that has four one-hour parts, you certainly find those doctors saying that it isn't healthy. They stress Fatty Livers and internal fat as real issues. Very interesting program "THE WEIGHT OF THE NATION". - 7/5/2012 9:42:56 AM
  • EMULFORD2
    This article is sooo over due. In a family where weight can be an issue, fitness has been the reality. Those who were fit regardless of their weight were always healthier than those who weren't fit.

    "The healthcare industry may be missing the mark and doing a disservice to our overweight clients and patients with the typical approach of focusing so heavily on nutritional changes." Unfortunately it wouldn't be the first disservice the healthcare industry has done to clients.

    Fitness is the issue!!!!! - 7/5/2012 9:28:37 AM
  • MARTY32M
    One thing this means for people like Lori is that physicians don't know how to deal with overweight. They haven't been trained to deal with it and they don't keep up with the research on it. They still think it's a question of will power, that if a patient is overweight it's the patient's fault.

    A related issue is that doctors think they're pressed for time and don't take enough time to explain what patients should do (even if they know what their patients should do).

    Another thing it means for patients like Lori is that you should not look to your doctor for approval. I do not agree with the advice to find a "more compassionate and knowledgeable physician." Physicians have specific training and you go to them for the benefit of that training. If you expect something outside their training you could end up with less of the knowledge they're supposed to have. Do you expect compassion from your plumber?

    My advice is: don't let the physician scare you. If your numbers have all improved, including your weight, and all the doctor can say is that your weight should have gone down further, set him straight by asking a question. Point out that studies prove that diets don't work in the long run, tell him the changes you made in your diet and other habits, remind him that all the numbers including your weight have improved, and ask him what he thinks you should do next, and please write it down so you don't miss any of the details. If that embarrasses him, apologize and go on with whatever you were doing to get healthier. - 7/5/2012 8:39:00 AM
  • I'm blessed with a Dr who isn't that rude.
    I'm very over weight, but am slowly loosing. My last check up (last mo.) all my blood work and B/P was normal. My Dr was very pleased and told me he was proud of me even if I didn't meet my goal, he encouraged me to keep working on it and going in the right direction.
    I may be "healthy" by those blood works, but I know my asthma and joint pain will get better as I get the weight off. - 7/5/2012 6:55:58 AM
  • Oh thank goodness, _finally_ an image with a heavy / big / fat / overweight women working out. I would so love to see more of that, but even here on sparkpeople, it is still rare. Even around here, the models demonstrating healthy eating and exercise tend to be fashionably thin. Which I understand when it comes to demonstrating some exercises where body stance is important, but the food? It just underlines the healthy lifestyle = thin.

    On the subject of test findings: You probably know it, but it really is something that I'd love to see stressed in articles: correalation (two things existing simultaneously) is not the same as causality (one thing causing the other). Being both unhealthy and overweight does not mean it's the overweight that causes the bad health.

    People with a healthy lifestyle have of course a better chance to be slim than someone whose nutrition is Made in MacDonalds. But there are also unhealthy lifestyles which keep you slim, too - cigarettes, medications, high stress jobs.

    Most importantly: I really feel for Lori. Making so much progress and her doctor is being so disparaging about it! I think she is obviously doing great, and I hope so much she won't let that discouraging response keep her from being proud of her work and persistence. - 7/5/2012 5:17:15 AM
  • I find this interesting. My great uncle, who is an avid basketball player even at his age, is very slender and is active. However, he recently had bypass surgery for heart issues despite his weight. Even though I'm overweight, my blood pressure has been in a very good area. I've been heart conscious since I was a teen due to my grandmother's heart issues. Yes, overweight people can be healthy..but depends on the view point of what's healthy. Blood pressure, cholesterol, and all that can be normal..but that extra weight is a burden on the human body and makes it age faster with the load it's carrying. - 7/5/2012 4:21:09 AM
  • I learned fairly young that fitness and fatness are two very different things. In freshman year of gym class, I had a classmate who was a big guy. However, he was on the swim team and ran track as well, and he was always moving around and doing things. I had another classmate who was supermodel-thin, but whenever it came time to get up and do something, she always called it quits early. He was fit, she wasn't. That's something that gets overlooked often. - 5/14/2012 8:20:30 PM

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