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Weight Loss & Obesity: Fact vs. Myth

In reviewing the coverage of weight loss and obesity, it is striking the amount of misinformation that is out in the public domain.  It’s not surprising that people are confused, and frankly, why many are pursuing the wrong path to get them where they want to be.

Weight Loss: Fact & Myth #1:Being obese is linked to a number of health problems, most notably, diabetes and heart disease?

Fact: Being obese increases your risk of coronary heart disease,Type 2 diabetes, cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon), high blood pressure, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides, stroke, liver and gallbladder disease, sleep problems, arthritis, and gynecological problems.

Weight Loss: Fact & Myth #2: Carrying the extra pounds is the cause of the risk

Myth: The excess pounds aren’t necessarily the problem.  It’s the excess visceral fat.  Weight is a simple, easy, and reasonably accurate approximation of the amount of body fat an average person has.  However, it doesn’t work in all cases.  For example, a body builder and an average Joe both weigh 205 pounds, and both are 5’ 9”.  Technically both are obese, but only one is at risk of the diseases above.  Can you guess which one?  If you said the average Joe, then you’re right.

Weight Loss: Fact & Myth #3:The weight itself is the only real risk

Myth: Being overweight and obese is generally an outcome of a sedentary lifestyle.  A sedentary lifestyle also plays a role in many of the diseases listed in Question #1.  It’s less about which causes the other, and more about the need to tackle both.  Exercise is a great way to help with obesity and general overall fitness.

Weight Loss: Fact & Myth #4:If obese, bringing down you weight is the goal for better health.

Fact & Myth: It is a fact, that if you are obese, losing the excess fat is important to restoring good health.  However, it is also a fact that crash dieting or other extreme means of weight loss can be dangerous.  It’s a myth that thin equals healthy.  You can still be above your ideal weight and be healthier.  In fact, your health will start to improve if all you lose is 5 to 10% of your body weight/fat.

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