When children are chubby we often give them cute nicknames (mommy's little butterball) or we call it “baby fat” that these children will outgrow. We also tell them not to worry about what others say about their “extra bit of cushion”, that it’s important to be a great person on the inside, and not worry so much about those mean little jabs about that double chin or t-shirt in the swimming pool. These are statements that are both very true (those inside good traits fair exceed the value of those outside) and yet, these statements should be concerning and considered seriously.
There are individuals who never experience the act of being referred to as overweight, obese, big for your size, larger, or, my personal favorite, “big-boned”
Weight is a very personal topic, and there are many reasons an individual can be over a healthy weight because of medical causes, but those medical explanations are very rare, and more often than not, clung to by those wishing to believe they they themselves are just destined to be large, or have a medical cause for their excess weight issues. The more common, and much more likely causes involve (1) eating more calories than our body expends in any given day (calories in/calories out, which I will touch on again, in a few paragraphs) (2) eating foods high in sugar, fat, or empty calories (those grouping of calories that have no equivalent nutritional value for the calories expended).
Eating is a very person and complex, as well as learned, activity and behavior. The act of eating, for the majority of humans, is often a source of tremendous comfort and joy, as well as a sense of what many actually feel as “love”. Sounds odd, to many, but yet our society rotates around the warm, loving feeling of food and the joy that very intake of food give us, both for commercial gain and personal feeling of familiarity and warm love.
While there should be no judgment on how an individual looks on the outside, because we all look different, and beauty is dependent on who you ask, at any given time or decade, the health lurking beneath the outward appearance is the real concern.
Excess weight can mean health problems that range from hypertension, diabetes, heart problems (from congestive heart problems, to cardiomyopathy, to organ failure, eventually, created by the overexertion of the different functions required to sustain your body’s homeostasis, or natural state of being.
To wrap this up with a beautiful bow, be it a size 4 bow or size 32 bow, the body requires the ability to function at the weight is becomes used to sustaining, and to do that, each individual must exercise, eat properly seek advice from a medical provider, and do your best to never exceed 20% greater than the recommended weight for your height and body frame.
Betty Cohn is a retired registered nurse with 35 years of experience in the medical field in a variety of roles. She will write a semi-monthly column about medical-related topics and welcomes questions and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.