Focus on Overall Health and not the Weight Scale
By: Sarah Pratt, MD, ProMedica Weight Loss Surgery
Recently, there have been many headlines about pandemic
weight gain after
The Journal of the American
(JAMA) published a study that determined the average
American gained just over seven pounds over the past year.
The pandemic has affected everyone a little differently.
Many people have been dealing with a complete upheaval of
their daily routine and have been experiencing a lot of
extra stress. For some people, stress causes them to eat
more. Some people are also getting bored in quarantine,
which leads to eating to satisfy boredom. On top of that,
many gyms have been closed, making it hard for people to get
physical activity in, especially in the winter.
Our culture tends to focus on weight in association with
appearance. The number on the scale is not the most
important indicator of oneís overall health. Instead, each
person should determine his or her body mass index, which is
one major indicator of oneís overall health.
To determine body mass index, or BMI, divide your weight in
kilograms by your height in meters squared. There are many
calculators available online. A healthy BMI is between 18
and 25. 25-30 is considered overweight, and 30 and above is
Obesity has been well-researched to indicate that it can
lead to a shortened life span. Obesity is directly related
to heart disease, diabetes, and many cancers. It has even
been associated with an
increased risk of more
disease when contracting
COVID-19. Obesity is also an inflammatory condition for the
body, which causes impairment of the immune system and
susceptibility to other diseases.
People of color are disproportionately affected by obesity
when compared to the general public. According to the
National Institute of Health, African American women have
the highest rates of obesity or being overweight compared to
other groups in the United States. About four out of five
African American women are overweight or obese.
The causes of obesity are complex, but we know thereís a
correlation between socioeconomic status and obesity. Access
to healthy food choices and safe physical activity is a
serious problem for many people. There are also
environmental and genetic factors that play a role.
Making the lifestyle changes to eat healthier and get more
exercise can have considerable health benefits. It is
possible to reverse the course of diseases like hypertension
and diabetes and prevent the long-term risks associated with
Lowering your BMI has been shown to cause an increase in
energy levels and often a decrease in joint pain.
Fortunately, overly strenuous exercise is not required to
improve BMI, but some physical activity is recommended.
The weather is getting warmer, and walking is an ideal way
to increase physical activity.
offers a wide array of trails and activities, and there is a
Metropark within five miles of every front door in Lucas
County. Individuals can
contact Metroparks staff by calling 419-407-9700 if there
are any accessibility needs. Additionally, there are several
city and community parks across our region.
Outdoor exercise is not only good for your physical health,
but itís also good for your well-being. Itís a great social
activity, as you can meet up with a friend and still allow
for physical distancing. So, be sure to get out and enjoy
the warmer weather!