Studies over time have suggested that people who are overweight but take regular exercise are no more likely to develop heart disease than anybody else. This has led to many people believing that it’s not unhealthy to be obese. New research however has found otherwise.
The 12-year-study looked at more than half a million people and compared their health. What they found was that, although obese people who exercised were more likely to have normal levels of blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol than their non-exercising counterparts, they were 28% more likely to develop heart disease than those with normal body weight who did not exercise.
This finally dispels the myth that you can be fat and fit. Obese people who do exercise may feel healthy but it won’t last. Carrying excess weight is just storing up problems for the future.
Now, the trouble with this is that it may put some people off exercising. After all, what is the point if it’s not doing you any good? But it is doing lots of good. Obese people who don’t exercise are at an even greater risk of heart disease, so every little helps.
Of course, we want our loved ones to feel happy about their body image so we may be reluctant to criticise someone’s weight. Even so, we should try (in a tactful way) to make them aware of the health benefits of losing weight. That doesn’t mean becoming skinny, like many models and celebrities seem to be – skinniness is almost as unhealthy as obesity.
This can be a thorny issue and many children have issues with the way they look. For parenting advice on body image and self-esteem take a look at our Knowledge Bank. It’s full of great advice and tips because health is important – and that includes mental health too.
You’ll also find lots of tips on helping your child’s education. We have a whole host of articles, written by teachers and educationalists, each one aimed at answering a specific question asked by parents. It’s well worth a look!