Myths about Obesity

Here we address and banish some common myths surrounding obesity. It is a disease that is estimated to effect 1 in 4 adults in the UK and around 1 in every 5 children aged around 10 to 11

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Myths about Obesity

The causes of obesity are multifactorial and, for the many people affected, plans and specialist treatments that focus on the individual are the most effective way forward

MYTH “Obesity is not a disease, it is a modern phenomenon”

Although a commonly held view, this is far from accurate. It may seem that obesity has only been a problem in recent years, but historical evidence suggests otherwise. A prominent historical figure who struggled with obesity was King Henry VII. In the Renaissance era, it far from being viewed as a health concern, obesity was often regarded as a sign of prosperity[1]. Recognizing the historical context of this condition is vital as it provides a broader perspective. This wider view enhances understanding regarding the factors contributing to obesity and facilitates the development of more effective strategies for prevention and management in the present day.

[1] The myths of obesity – ScienceDirect

MYTH “An increase in body weight is always due to an increase in body fat”

BMI can be a reasonable measurement for the general population but not accurate for all individuals[1]. The reason that BMI isn’t always a true measure is because muscle weighs more than fat[2]. The focus should shift away from a narrow emphasis on numbers to a broader consideration of overall health. A regular health check can understand how factors like lifestyle, physical activity, nutrition, and mental well-being play important roles in determining an individual’s health status.

[1] Thirty Obesity Myths, Misunderstandings, and/or Oversimplifications: An Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) Clinical Practice Statement (CPS) 2022 – ScienceDirect

[2] Does Muscle Weigh More Than Fat? The Truth About Body Composition (healthline.com)

MYTH “In patients with obesity, increased body fat is the cause of all their health conditions”

Patients find that they can struggle with not only their health but also accessing standard prevention care. Discriminatory bias and stigma can overshadow how healthcare providers perceive and treat patients with obesity. Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure are commonly associated with the adiposopathic consequences of obesity[1].
It is crucial to recognise that while obesity can contribute to various chronic diseases, these conditions may have other potential causes or contributions beyond obesity alone.

[1] Thirty Obesity Myths, Misunderstandings, and/or Oversimplifications: An Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) Clinical Practice Statement (CPS) 2022 – ScienceDirect

 

Your Own Balance

A regular health check can help us to understand how factors like lifestyle, physical activity, nutrition, and mental well-being play important roles in determining your health status. Through this holistic lens, we can support you to a healthier and happier life, at a weight that is balanced for you.

How Optimal Health Can Help

If you struggle with tackling obesity and would like some support then we recommend starting with an Initial Health Consultation for new patients. We connect online, listen clearly to your health concerns and priorities, ensure our philosophy meets your needs, and recommend the starting point for an Optimal Health Treatment Pathway ©

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