It’s not dangerous to have five or ten kilos too much if you’re active.
We have been able to think that a thin body means a healthy body.
But is that necessarily the case? Or can you be somewhat overweight and so healthy?
– There is a lot of evidence that it’s not healthy to be fat. It still matters. But then you can ask what is really a good measure when measuring obesity, says physician Jøran Hjelmesæth for better health.
He is the head of the Center for Disease Overweight in Health South East at the hospital in Vestfold.
BMI is ok
Hjälmesæth thinks BMI is a good tool for measuring obesity in large population studies.
But he is not convinced that BMI says as much about each individual.
– It’s quite possible to be a bit overweight and in good physical shape, and it’s much healthier than being thin and inactive, he says.
The best health effect is achieved by exercising with high heart rate.
Although we have been able to look at thin people as healthier than those who have a few pounds too much, this does not always match.
When measuring a person’s BMI, a BMI of over 30 is defined as obesity and a BMI between 25 and 30 as overweight.
– In Sweden, two thirds of the population is overweight or suffering from obesity. About half of us have a BMI of between 25 and 30. But if you are overweight and physically active and you are not in danger of life-threatening illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, you do not have to worry so much, Hjelmesæth says..
Another story inside
– Never seen Tone in better shape
Are you overweight and physically active and have an inactive and thin girlfriend, it’s very likely that things look outward on the inside of their bodies than on the outside, as to who has the healthiest body.
There may be accumulation of fat on the inside of the blood vessels also on thin people. This does not notice or see, but it can equally lead to illnesses and ailing health. It has even been shown that obese people who have a heart attack have a better chance of survival than those who are normal.
– It is the body composition that is important, and the extent to which a person is physically active, says professor at Norway’s sports academy Jorunn Sundgot-Borgen.
Professionals call it to be “fit” in English – and at the same time in good standing – for “fitfat”.
In this term, it is true that you can actually have some extra fat, if you are only physically active.
This reduces the risk that is usually associated with obesity.
– It’s dangerous to be inactive, but it’s not dangerous to have five or ten kilos too much if you’re active. Remember that a thin body far from always is healthier than a thick. Underweight can have many causes and many medical consequences. And if you grow up, you often lack energy and key nutrients. Furthermore, lightweight muscle mass is lost by rapid weight reduction or prolonged malnutrition, says Sundgot-Borgen, explaining that this will contribute to reduced energy turnover, altered heat regulation, dropout or loss of menstruation and irritability.
– For a long time, ie more than six months with absence of menstruation, women will also be able to develop osteoporosis, says Sundgot-Borgen.
Do not trust BMI
Jøran Hjelmesæth believes that there are tools that are better when checking health than the BMI calculator. A single measuring tape can in many cases say more about your health condition than the BMI.
The pictures are taken with 1 hour space
– The fat that lays around the waist is what will be the most afraid of. A lot of belly fat increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, while fat around the butt and thigh really is just good for us, says Hjelmesæth.
The reason is quite simple: the fat around the stomach lays around your intestines and makes you fat on the inside.
– Measure the waist to see how it works. Men who have a waistline of more than 102 centimeters are at greater risk for these diseases, and the same applies to women with a waistline of over 88, he says..
Many women will find it difficult to keep belly fat away after menopause. Because you get lower values of female hormones, you will be able to get the distinctive beer flavor that many men struggle with.
The disadvantage of BMI is that it does not take into account the body composition of the individual. It is the composition that is essential, not the total mass, “says Sundgot-Borgen.
She also recommends other methods to check the condition of your body:
A DEXA scan (DEXA stands for dual-energy X-ray absorptionometry) that measures percentages of fat and bone mass in the body, caliph measurements (you peel a skin fold and measure body fat with the clipping instrument) and ultrasound.
More physical activity is the first bid when you want to get rid of your stomach fat and whether it’s overweight or relatively thin.
If you are completely inactive today, health benefits will be huge only you start moving around the house or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Hair tells you how to do it
You are wondering if you answer yes to one question
Furthermore, health benefits are great for those who move on to moderate exercise, which means about half an hour of physical activity daily. Then the risk of illnesses is even reduced, you sleep well and your brain works better, says Hjelmesæth.
Bigger than this does not need your body to work properly. The stomach fat will now begin to drain, but you may not see it on your BMI for that reason.
– If a person with a BMI of 30 starts to exercise moderately, he may only drop one kilogram of stomach fat while increasing muscle mass. Despite reduced waistline, he will therefore have the same BMI as before, but his health is still significantly better. This shows how a person who is fat can have as good health as one who is slim, says Hjelmesæth.
Best to be slim
– We live in a very obese society. We have an abundance of energy-rich foods full of sugar and fat. It tastes good, costs little and is marketed aggressively, and so it is almost strange that no more are overweight, says Hjelmesæth.
When you are filling gasoline, you almost throw the chocolate balls after you and eat a bag of wood, you’ve got well over 1000 calories without getting saturated once.
And you have to move quite a bit to burn a bag of snacks.
Therefore you get sick on your day off
– It’s important to focus on obesity and health, but you should not be completely hysterical either. The best thing is definitely to be slim and in good shape, but it’s by no means automatic connection between being slim and healthy, he says.
Normal or too fat?
– It is actually quite challenging to decide what is the normal weight for the individual. The best thing is to register the body composition, if you find it as medical, it can be the optimal proportion of fat and muscle mass, says Professor Jorunn Sundgot-Borgen.
She thinks many get completely wrong information using BMI tables.
For example, a man with a high proportion of muscle mass, which weighs and only looking at weight in relation to height, could be considered overweight – despite the fact that he does not have too much fat.
– If you can go for a quick trip thirty minutes consecutively, you can mostly feel safe, she says.
Instead of hanging out, you should think about how much you actually move in a day.
– There are dramatic conditions in Norway. We are the worst in the class in Europe when it comes to moving in free time and we are at the top when it comes to how big the proportion becomes obese, says Sundgot-Borgen.
She thinks it’s easy to focus too much on weight because this is an accessible, objective goal that everyone has a relationship with – on good and bad.
Is red wine really healthy and you get high cholesterol of eggs?
– In addition, weight is a word that goes back in very many contexts in the daily. We are impressed every day what weight means for public health. But now it’s time to change focus, says the professor.
– The more you think about and want to have control over the weight, the more it takes control.
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