A healthy weight is a desirable state but what constitutes a ‘healthy weight?’ We are constantly bombarded with information about weight, which is often a mix of ‘scare stories’, research findings and media reports.
The issue of weight runs the whole length of the spectrum, from underweight to overweight. It does seem rather absurd that we see images of ‘size 0’ fashion models at the same time as reading about the obesity crisis.
It appears to be the case that we can be too big or too thin.
Being underweight is as bad as being overweight and both of these states can lead to long term health problems. Weight issues can affect us both physically and mentally and need to be addressed but there are a variety of reasons for these issues.
Portion sizes or the type of food you consume are not the only factors that determine your weight. Other factors play a part such as age, gender, genetics, lifestyle and medical history.
We are all individuals when it comes to weight and because of this it is very difficult to set an ideal ‘healthy weight’. In other words, there is no ‘one size fits all’ type of weight.
Another factor in all of this is the constant media pressure, especially on women to achieve a physical ideal. Women are shown a super slim, or skinny look which is held up as a symbol of perfection but in reality, is only achievable by a tiny majority of people.
Men too are becoming susceptible to this pervasive influence which places an emphasis on a toned, muscular physique. They are turning to diets, excessive gym workouts and even cosmetic surgery in order to achieve that physical ideal. This has led to the emergence of a condition called ‘athletica nervosa’ in which the sufferer develops an unhealthy obsession with exercise.
Many people compare themselves to images of slender, tanned models and celebrities but fail to realise that many of these models are underweight, sometimes bordering on anorexic. Plus, some of these images have been ‘adjusted’ using Photoshop or some other editing software and don’t always show a true picture of the model.
It is all too easy to compare yourself to these images but that can swiftly lead to dissatisfaction with your weight and lifestyle in general. This equally applies if you have a habit of comparing your weight to that of your friends.
It is important to think objectively about your weight as it is very easy to think that you are the ‘right’ weight when you are in fact, carrying a few too many pounds.
The question is where do you fit on the ‘weight spectrum’ from severely underweight through to morbidly obese?