Body Weight and Health
People come in a wide range of healthy shapes and sizes. However, being overweight and obese can increase your risk for health problems including some cancers, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and type 2 diabetes. Being underweight may also put you at risk for health problems including osteoporosis and anemia.
A Healthy Weight Range
It was previously thought each person had an ideal body weight. It is now recognized that a range of weights are considered healthy, because of differences in bone size, ethnicity and genetics. Trying to achieve and maintain your weight within a healthy range will reduce your risk for developing health problems associated with being over or underweight.
Wondering What is Considered a Healthy Weight?
The body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference measurements are 2 tools used by health professionals to help assess your risk of developing health problems associated with being overweight or underweight. BMI is a ratio of weight to height and is an indicator of health risk associated with body weight. Waist circumference is an indicator of health risk associated with abdominal obesity. Excess fat around the waist is associated with a greater health risk than fat located in the hip and thigh area. These tools can be used for adults age 18 years and over, with the exception of pregnant and breastfeeding women.
What About Fad Diets for Weight Loss?
If a diet sounds too good to be true, then it probably is! Fad diets often promise quick, short-term weight loss and forbid specific foods and could put your health at risk! Fad diets don't work for the long-term. In fact, most "dieters" regain the weight within 2 to 5 years and often gain even more than they lost. There is no quick-fix to weight loss. Ditch the fad diet and focus on achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight by enjoying regular physical activity and healthy eating.
Healthy Eating Plus Physical Activity is a Winning Combination for a Healthy Weight!
Following Canada's Food Guide is your best tool for healthy eating and a healthy weight. It outlines the number of servings you need from each of the 4 food groups every day.
Other healthy eating tips:
· Don't skip breakfast
· Watch your portion sizes
· Fill your plate with healthy choices
· Listen to your body for signs of hunger and fullness
· Have 3 meals and 2 to 3 snacks throughout the day
Make physical activity part of your daily life! Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity of physical activity per week. You can break down your activity into intervals of 10 minutes or more. Walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, gardening, bowling or cycling will do! Aim to add muscle and bone strengthening activities as well, such as weight lifting, at least two days per week.
Your Health, Your Weight: A pamphlet on healthy weight produced by the Heart and Stroke Foundation
Eat Right Ontario: Weight Management: Web site provides practical information on how to achieve and maintain a healthy weight