Health

Do you really need to lose weight to be healthy?

BY FITZ-GEORGE
RATTRAY

Sunday, February 11, 2018

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WE are already certain that we don't have to be slim and trim to live a long life. Everyone knows a grandmother or aunt who is quite overweight and is still alive, but maybe not actually kicking into their 80s and 90s.

If you're wondering why I'm not including grandfathers and uncles, it's because on average men simply do not do as well as women with the extra pounds and ageing. Also, just how healthy are these overweight individuals, and what is considered overweight?

Without fully addressing the issues we can see how complicated this can be, and yes, it gets even more complicated, but let's try to unravel it together. Before a determination of health, based on physical condition can be evaluated, we need to define the conditions around which the studies and statistics are compiled.

What is athletic, normal, overweight, obese, and morbid obesity?

Using the Body Mass Index (BMI), which is calculated using your height and your weight to roughly determine your thickness or thinness and related potential health risks based on a specific range, the following ranges will define your category:

• Under 18.5: Underweight

• 18.5 - 24.9: Healthy range

• 25.0 - 29.9: Overweight

• 30- 39.9: Obese

• Over 40: Morbidly obese

Disclaimer: BMI is not the only measure used when establishing health risks. It can be quite inaccurate for someone who is pregnant, or someone athletic who may be fitter than the average person, to have a poor BMI. I have a preference for measuring the Body Fat Percentage (BFP) since our true concern at ITK is the level of body fat being carried. BMI is not necessarily the best to assess health, but it is more simple.

The research is clear

• Overweight to obese people tend to die earlier than people of normal weight.

• Obesity cuts life expectancy by up to 14 years.

• The habits parents teach children have lifelong consequences, such as obesity at age 20.

• More women show weight concern, but the excess risk of premature death is about three times as much for a man who gets fat.

• Another study finds that being overweight reduces life expectancy more than smoking does.

If you are overweight (with a BMI over 25), you may develop:

• High blood pressure (hypertension);

• Cardiovascular disease;

• Coronary artery disease (fatty deposits build up in arteries that supply the heart);

• Narrowed arteries and reduced blood flow to the heart (can cause chest pain [angina] or a heart attack);

• Stroke: In fact, any of the above can result in a stroke, which can leave you alive and possibly cripple you for life;

• Gall bladder disease;

• Type 2 diabetes;

• Joint problems;

• Sleep apnea (potentially deadly);

• Non-alcoholic fatty liver;

• Kidney disease;

• Pregnancy complications;

• At least 10 types of cancer;

• Depression and other mental health disorders.

Yes, losing the extra fat can be emotionally rough, but keeping it can be forever worse.

What does this all mean?

The bottom line is, being overweight will make you suffer and will very likely shorten your life. It may be fashionable in some circles since, the truth is, no one should be judged on their body, but if you are concerned about the quality of your life or a loved one's, get connected with a weight management programme before reaching the tipping point.

Fitz-George Rattray is the CEO of Intekai Academy, which is focused on helping people live a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and weight management. If you are interested in losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle give them a call at give them a call at 968-8238, or visit their website at

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