A Natural Path: Thin doesn’t always equal healthy | VailDaily.com

A Natural Path: Thin doesn’t always equal healthy

Dr. Eliza Klearman
Vail CO, Colorado
Kristin Anderson/kanderson@vaildaily.com

VAIL, Colorado ” It is the New Year, and we are still of resolutions. Is there anybody out there who doesn’t want to lose weight? Probably only a handful of you, I would guess. Weight loss is certainly a popular goal, and a necessary one for a large portion of the population. According to the CDC, in 2007, 18.7 percent of Colorado was obese, the lowest rates nationally. While certainly something to be proud of, what about the nearly 19 percent of people who are obese? And that only accounts for obesity, not being overweight. Being overweight and obese increases your risks of many diseases.

Most of us try to lose weight because we look better and feel better. The fact of the matter is that in most cases, you are healthier when you maintain a healthy weight. When overweight and obese, your body simply does not work in the right way. The percentage of fat in your body impedes its normal functioning, causing inflammation, the ultimate producer of disease.

Measuring your risks for weight related diseases is not very cut and dry. Traditionally, your risk factors are measured by your Body Mass Index (BMI), a calculation of your height verses your weight. BMI = (your body weight in pounds x 703) / your height in inches 2. For adults ages 18-65, your goal is to have a BMI of 18.5-24.5; over 25 is overweight and over 30 is obese. BMI provides a decent guideline to who is overweight and obese, but falls short of identifying all people at risk.

Body fat analysis, best done through bioelectrical impedance testing, is a much more accurate indicator of health risks. A study by Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, and his colleagues found that even people who are within a weight that is considered normal and healthy can have a body fat that is too high.

His studies prove that weight isn’t everything. Body fat percentage can be high even in people who look thin, a condition that Dr. Lopez-Jimenez has coined “normal-weight obesity.” This condition is extremely common. In Dr. Lopez- Jimenez’s study sample, 61 percent were found to have normal-weight obesity.

With these numbers, the prevalence of this condition could be epidemic when considering our whole population. Obesity rates according to BMI alone are sky-rocketing; if the medical community added in body fat analysis as a technique to screen for obesity in every patient, it is hard to comprehend how much of our population might actually be at risk for obesity-related diseases.

So, yes, your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight is a good one, but one that should be accomplished with the knowledge that being thin does not equate to being healthy. In my “Lose Weight Naturally without Dieting Program,” we focus our intentions on improving the composition of the body. By decreasing body fat percentage and increasing lean muscle mass, you are truly improving your health and lowering your risks for obesity related diseases.

A lifestyle program that promotes healthy eating, realistic foods and portions, managing stress, and regular exercise is the answer to creating a healthier you. Even for you thin people out there, a healthy lifestyle is your ticket to a healthy life. There are no shortcuts or magic pills, just good plain hard work, discipline and knowledge. Anything less is missing the point!

Dr. Eliza Klearman is a Naturopathic Doctor and Acupuncturist practicing in Eagle. For more information, call 970-328-5678 or e-mail liza@drklearman.com. Visit http://www.drklearman.com to learn more.

– Hypertension (high blood pressure)

– Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)

– Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)

– Type 2 diabetes

– Coronary heart disease

– Stroke

– Gallbladder disease

– Sleep apnea and respiratory problems

– Some cancers (endometrial, breast and colon)

” Center for Disease Control

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