What’s the big deal about being overweight?

Aside from simply not wanting to be described as obese or fat, most of us are somewhat aware of the health risks associated with carrying around a few pounds too many. In general, “when men put on a few pounds, they don’t tend to become emotionally tortured about it. Studies have shown that women and girls who are overweight tend to blame themselves, while men and boys blame outside factors.1

Overweight is defined by the dictionary as “above a weight considered normal or desirable.” Synonyms for overweight are fat, obese, stout, corpulent, fleshy, portly, rotund and many more. But different people have different opinions on what is considered overweight, so researchers depend on measurement tools such as the Body Mass Index (BMI) to make a general assessment.

Obesity is complicated. It can be hereditary, but genetics are not completely responsible. Some obese people remain healthy while others do not. But what are some of the serious health consequences of obesity for adults? People who are obese are at increased risk for many diseases and health conditions, including the following: 2, 3,4

According to the World Health Organization, obesity is an international epidemic of escalating proportions and the “most significant contributor to ill health.”6 But the battle against obesity can be dangerous—overexercising, starving and taking over-the-counter diet pills can cause dehydration, cardiac arrest and an overall imbalance between body, mind and spirit—and in dire situations, even death.

When trying to lose weight, we need to remember that the excess baggage we carry on our bodies didn’t get there overnight, and it’s not going to disappear right away. Having a Nikken exercise buddy and being on a well-thought out regimen is the key to successful weight management. Maintaining a healthy weight can even help us save money by eliminating frequent medical appointments and filling expensive prescriptions!

It takes patience, discipline and mindfulness to eat sensibly, exercise moderately and consistently, drink lots of water and believe in Active Wellness—belief that we can do it is the first step!

1 Emily Senay, M.D. and Rob Waters, From Boys to Men: A Woman’s Guide, Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 2004, p. 400.

2,3 NHLBI.2013. “Managing Overweight and Obesity in Adults: Systematic Evidence Review from the Obesity Expert Panel.” “Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults

4 Bhaskaran K, Douglas I, Forbes H, dos-Santos-Silva I, Leon DA, Smeeth L. “Body-mass index and risk of 22 specific cancers: a population-based cohort study of 5•24 million UK adults.” Lancet. 2014 Aug 30;384(9945):755-65. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60892-8. Epub 2014 Aug 13.

5 Luppino, Floriana S., et al. “Overweight, obesity, and depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies.” Archives of general psychiatry3 (2010): 220-229.

6 Caballero, B., “A nutrition paradox—underweight and obesity in developing countries,” Engl.J.Med. 2005