There is No Such Thing as Healthy Obesity

“There’s a growing body of evidence that healthy obesity exists” is an often-touted line among people who advocate “body positivity.” I hate to tell them this, but that’s not what the literature says.

The truth is, obesity is never healthy. I should know: last year, I weighed approximately 310 pounds (about 141 kg for those of you not in the US). I was lethargic, unable to focus, and generally miserable. Walking a short distance uphill was torture. Moreover, it was hard to find clothing that fit well.

So, I decided to do something about it. I got a gym membership and started working out. I went to the gym everyday for a month and dropped about 10 lbs (a little more than 4.5 kg). I kept going to the gym and the pounds started coming off quicker. I added a low-carb diet to my plan and then the weight really began to come off.

As I worked out, I was mindful of COVID and chose times of the day when the gym wasn’t as full. I kept working out and would skip on those days when the place was packed. In short, I became aware of my health which is something I never thought I would realize.

More importantly, my gastric issues (of which I’ve blogged about earlier) began to improve. I’ve spent fewer days worrying about what I can eat and simply eating.

“Plus Size Models” and campaigns featuring plus size models aren’t doing young people any good. Normalizing a less-than-optimal image of health is dangerous. That “growing body of evidence” is largely predicated upon levels of visceral fat being lower than levels of subcutaneous fat. But how many people know how much visceral fat they’re toting around? Sure, a smart scale can try to guess a user’s amount of visceral fat, but these measurements aren’t accurate; you need to see a doctor to tell you. And if you go into a doctor’s office to see if you’re “healthy and obese” then any doctor worth their salt will tell you one thing: obesity can never be healthy.

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