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WHO CLASSIFIES AS OBESE?

Hi peeps! Has the recent weather been good to you? It’s been raining…and I absolutely love it! I empathize with my people on the island. Make sure your canoes and paddles are ready to go at a moment’s notice. Safe journey o! 😈

Today’s discussion as stated above is yet another topic that has been flogged, flogged and over-flogged. However, because of how cogent it is to the modernized society of today, it will remain ever relevant.

The standard for the measurement of obesity is Body Mass Index (BMI), as depicted in the image below.

However, the flaw in BMI calculation is that it doesn’t take muscle and bone weight into consideration. BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in Kg by height (raised to power 2) in meters.

In some cases, increased weight is accounted for by muscles and bone weight, not fat. A better means to measure  is the waist-hip ratio as depicted below:

The thrust of this post is to highlight the psychological and sociological impact of weight dissatisfaction, particularly in women. Yes, a few men experience the same feelings also. However, the prevalent unrealistic expectation that a woman has limited value because she isn’t as thin as some has given birth to self harm, depression, anorexia, bulimia, low self esteem, withdrawal, social out-casting and even suicide.

Please don’t get this twisted. We aren’t encouraging obesity here. However, self acceptance is the pathway to constructive and optimistic progress.I always say, contentment doesn’t necessarily mean everything is perfect or exactly as you would like. It simply means that you have learned to make peace with situations going on around you, all the while aspiring and striving for better. My dad always says that every man will walk the path of destiny alone (with Jesus at your side, of course 😉) so stop with the competition. The grass may look greener on the other side but it might just be artificial grass which is evergreen!!! 😂

😆

There is one word that has quite offensive connotations which most of the world has chosen to archive (except the nasty people who just want to hurt others’ feelings). That word is “FAT”. It’s particularly hurtful for kids in primary and secondary schools and affects one’s body image and self confidence.This would translate into other aspects of this person’s life. Parents also need to be sensitive, as I have heard parents speak carelessly, forgetting that children also have feelings.

This is even further worsened by all the visuals we are voluntarily and involuntarily exposed to. Social media, magazines, newspapers all glorify figures with not an ounce of fat.

 

 

The worst part is that not all obesity cases are caused by an inability to say no to food. There are medical diseases like hypothyroidism, metabolic syndrome or cushing’s syndrome that cause obesity so next time you have the urge to tease people, kindly establish the facts first.

I want our take away today to be simple and straightforward. Let’s stop denigrating people and instead, help them be better. A sense of community and understanding from family and friends goes a long way in catalyzing a better, more accepting body image while infusing confidence to take action to be better. Actions should include

 

 

  1. Medical check up – in case it’s disease-borne
  2. Exercise – jogging, brisk walking, skipping. If you have the funds, you could join a gym and have a training guide OR get an online/whatsapp fitness coach. This requires discipline so get ready
  3. Proper dieting – No, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat at all, as many of us do. Your meals need to be smaller but more frequent and properly balanced. Vegetables, fruits and water should become your best friends
  4. Peace of mind – It seems strange to add this, right? Well, it isn’t. The mind exerts major control on the physical body. Get your mind in the “contentment-state” and you’ll get better results

You can do anything if you set your mind to it. Don’t accept limitations defined by other people. Perspectives are very different. Remember our mantra? You always have a choice. Never forget that.

This conversation continues in the next post (implications and line of action) so stay glued. See ya in a bit!

If you have any comments or contributions on today’s topic, be quick to comment or send me a mail at feedback@healthcare-ng.com I will be glad to read from you and answer all your questions.

Author: Dr. Lola Odubitan, MBBS

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