Chapter Nine: Weight Management and Body Image
March 22, 2017 10:00
This chapter discusses weight, obesity, dangers of being overweight, eating disorders, and self-image. As I discussed in my last blog post, many of us have health aspects that deal with either eating healthier, or working out more. It’s not enough to just eat healthy foods, it’s important to understand how much you should be eating and at what weight you should be at.
Obesity has become a large epidemic in America over the past few years. It’s not just America either. Many countries around the globe are fighting obesity. It has even become the fifth leading risks for global death. This is surprising because it is preventable. Obesity can cause depression, anxiety, high BP, risk of type 2 diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and so many more issues. We learned in a previous chapter that it is only healthy to lose 1-2 pounds a week. This goes for gaining weight too. It’s not healthy to gain more than 2 pounds per week.
The thrifty gene is a really interesting concept that I had not previously heard of. It’s the theory that certain Indian and African tribes who had struggled with famine adapted to have a slower metabolism, which helped them to survive.
The body mass index is very misleading. It does not take into account muscle mass, meaning it can classify a body builder with a low percentage of body fat as obese. Hydrostatic weighing is one of the most reliable ways of measuring your body composition. In my physiology of exercise lab we were weighed this was and it was very accurate. Our text says that skinfolds only have a 3-4% error but I disagree with this. Each individual measures skinfolds differently. Even if it’s an inch off it can greatly change your data.
Last semester I did a project on the effectiveness of fad diets. My topic was Weight Watchers, which was one of the most effective forms of dieting. The meetings seemed to have a really big part of it because you were held accountable for your weight loss by your peers. The meetings also helped as a form of support, because everyone was trying to better themselves and get healthier by losing the weight. When compared to other fad diets, it also was the longest lasting because it encourages individuals to not only eat healthy, but to stay active which is how these individuals kept the weight off.
Body image is very important, especially in young people. My younger sister is 14 now and a few years ago she dealt with her body image and was comfortable with herself. I did my best to try and compliment her and help her realize that she was beautiful no matter what. I think being uncomfortable with your body at such a young age can be detrimental for a long time afterwards.
Being a young adult is difficult because you’re trying to be your own person, but you still look up to people in your life and in the media and it’s hard not to compare yourself to these individuals. My health aspect was to eat healthier and exercise more, in hopes of losing some weight and trying to be more comfortable with myself. I always realize when my clothes fit better, that I feel better about myself so that was my main goal. It’s nice to see that my jeans fit me better! I’m proud of my progress and I continue to work on feeling comfortable with how I look, that way I can show my little sister how to feel the same way! Last week I signed a lease for an apartment in the North End. It’s definitely going to be a struggle to stick with my healthy eating when I’m surrounded by amazing Italian restaurants (especially the one I’ll be living above).