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Is there a problem with just being overweight?

  1. May 9, 2007 #1
    Most problems associated with being overweight simply have to do with poor diet. Let's suppose that there's a person whose diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, unsaturated fats and lean proteins. He gets all his vitamins, avoids trans fats and refined sugars, and eats a very healthy proportion of different sorts of foods. However, lets suppose that he just eats lots of these foods. As far as I know, things like high cholesterol, hypertension, cardiac disease, etc. only happen because of poor diet, and those who're overweight tend to have a poor diet, so the two correlate. However, is there anything inherently wrong with just being overweight if your diet is healthy?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 9, 2007 #2
    The first thing you have to decide is what is "overweight", heavy does not always mean overweight, if your body mass index is high but your fat percentage is low (say like a body builder) that is fine but if fat levels, insulin, colesterol or antigens are not within normal limits it could mean problems.
  4. May 9, 2007 #3
    Let's say that the person isn't a bodybuilder, they're moderately active, but don't have very much muscle mass. How about a 6 foot man that's 250 pounds. However, his cholesterol is fine because he eats lots of unsaturated fats and fiber, he has plenty of antioxidants in his blood, doesn't eat too much refined sugar so his blood sugar levels are balanced, doesn't eat too much salt so he doesn't have to worry about hypertension. He just eats lots of healthy food, and stores it as fat.
  5. May 9, 2007 #4
    I believe, but I'm not positive, that to follow a good diet involves both type AND quantity of food intake. So if a person eats food excessively, good or bad, I suppose the person is still unhealthy.
  6. May 9, 2007 #5


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    Setting aside issues like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, hypertension and a stroke (which may in part at least be diet, and not necessarily weight related), there are loads of problems can be caused by being overweight. Even if your diet is okay (in content if not moderation), think of all the extra demand being imposed on your cardiopulmonory and musculoskeletal systems.
  7. May 9, 2007 #6


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    Add to that the sedentary lifestyle typically required for being overweight and you've added back in all the other things you listed (except cancer - I don't think that's a risk either way).

    Basically, I see being overweight as a symptom of bad habits. Whether it is caused by bad eating habits, a sedentary lifestyle, or both, the effects are there and are pretty similar.

    And as a junk-food junkie with absurdly low cholesterol (though I haven't been tested in about 5 years...), I can tell you that the body is pretty adaptable to whatever you put into it food-wise. The active lifestyle is at least as important if not more for keeping away the diabetes, cardiopulminary, and musculoskeletal problems.
  8. May 11, 2007 #7


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    Overweight isn't a cause, it's a parallel effect. The only reason not to be excessively obese (to whomever's definition one wishes to apply) is to avoid unpleasantness often associated. You're not as sexy, you don't fit through doors as well, etc. :smile:
  9. May 11, 2007 #8


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    :uhh: Are you trying to say there are no health consequences to being obese?

    - Warren
  10. May 11, 2007 #9
    Isn't weight gain/loss simply a matter of calorie intake/calorie withdrawal?
  11. May 12, 2007 #10

    yes its definetly an effect caused by enviromental conditions imposed.
  12. May 12, 2007 #11
    I think it is possible to be "overweight" and still be healthy. You might need to get a lot of exercise, or in some respect be athletic.
    Last edited: May 12, 2007
  13. May 16, 2007 #12
    no ther is no problem with being overweight but accept all of the consequences.
  14. May 16, 2007 #13


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    Aren't those things mutually exclusive?
  15. May 16, 2007 #14


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    brewnog is making a point that shouldn't be overlooked.

    Even if you're eating well and such, the weight is putting a lot of strain on your system - muscles, skeleton, lungs - but particularly the heart.

    You may not experience it at first, but that strain will catch up to you.

    As a very loose example, people who suffer from gigantism (who weigh a lot yet are not overweight) suffer a plethora of maladies, strongly hinting that weight alone (obesity aside) is harmful.
  16. Jun 1, 2007 #15
    kiss your load bearing joints good bye if you're overweight
  17. Jun 13, 2007 #16


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    true, an orthopedist once told me that for every extra 10 pounds above your ideal body weight you put 60 pounds per square inch of extra pressure on your knee joints every time you walk. That's why knee replacements are becoming commonplace in younger and younger people ( they were overweight teens/young adults.)
  18. Jun 13, 2007 #17
    Not to mention

    Even if you ate all healthy foods, but more than you needed and got big.. you're putting an extreme load on your heart. I'm not talking about just clots and whatnot. I'm talking about a larger body that makes the heart struggle more to deliver the blood to all the right places.
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