eli5 why your weight is such an important indicator of your overall health.

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It seems that in modern times our culture is obsessed with weight loss and it is often times seen as a primary indicator of your overall health. Why is this so?

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10 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

When you gain weight you are making more fat cells and skin cells that require more oxygen for energy so your lungs work harder, which makes your heart have to beat faster and increases your blood pressure. Overworking the system is bad.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Someone who is overweight may be suffering from health problems (high blood pressure, heart disease, risk of stroke etc.)

It may be taken as a sign of how active a person is, which is also related to your health.

There are also other problems such as joint pain. When you’re carrying around extra weight, your joints are put under more stress, which could cause pain or injury.

If someone is underweight it might be a sign of illness or some other condition. If someone is really underweight it can lead to many health complications.

Weight is generally a good indicator of health but we tent to emphasize it a bit too much, especially with modern beauty standards.

In general there is a range of weights which depending on your height is considered healthy, the BMI system is not very accurate as it only accounts for height and weight and nothing else.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It is easily accessible. It is very easy to weigh oneself reasonably accurately. So it is a simple way to self monitor.

Although humans come in various sizes etc, a relatively simple guideline for weight to some other characteristic (height etc) is easy to construct and explain.

Weight has a definite and clear impact on things like joints etc. This can easily be examined. Physics works the same everywhere. It is also easy to gather correlations between excessive weight and high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems etc.

The problem with very detailed health monitoring, although a more reliable and effective indicator of health is that it becomes expensive, difficult to do regularly and difficult to explain. Hence although “better”, in the real world, it is less effective.

Anonymous 0 Comments

When you gain weight you are making more fat cells and skin cells that require more oxygen for energy so your lungs work harder, which makes your heart have to beat faster and increases your blood pressure. Overworking the system is bad.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Someone who is overweight may be suffering from health problems (high blood pressure, heart disease, risk of stroke etc.)

It may be taken as a sign of how active a person is, which is also related to your health.

There are also other problems such as joint pain. When you’re carrying around extra weight, your joints are put under more stress, which could cause pain or injury.

If someone is underweight it might be a sign of illness or some other condition. If someone is really underweight it can lead to many health complications.

Weight is generally a good indicator of health but we tent to emphasize it a bit too much, especially with modern beauty standards.

In general there is a range of weights which depending on your height is considered healthy, the BMI system is not very accurate as it only accounts for height and weight and nothing else.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It is easily accessible. It is very easy to weigh oneself reasonably accurately. So it is a simple way to self monitor.

Although humans come in various sizes etc, a relatively simple guideline for weight to some other characteristic (height etc) is easy to construct and explain.

Weight has a definite and clear impact on things like joints etc. This can easily be examined. Physics works the same everywhere. It is also easy to gather correlations between excessive weight and high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems etc.

The problem with very detailed health monitoring, although a more reliable and effective indicator of health is that it becomes expensive, difficult to do regularly and difficult to explain. Hence although “better”, in the real world, it is less effective.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Weight serves two purposes in general health:

First: Weight is a good indicator in the modern world of unhealthy habits. Specifically, weight gain is often connected to poor diet, a lack of exercise, and other lifestyle issues that have other negative impacts on your health. Even if it’s not habits, there are a lot of health issues that can contribute to being overweight, including hormonal issues and some chronic diseases.

Second: excess weight often has it’s own impact on health. Extra weight means that you need more oxygen so your lungs have to work harder; your heart has to push more blood around; your bones are holding up more weight and thus may be overstressed, as are your muscles and joints, and so on.

That said: there is good reason to believe that it is overused as a health indicator. There are a significant number of reports of health issues being dismissed by doctors saying “lose weight – it will go away”; in some cases resulting in the person dying from an easily-treatable medical condition that the doctors refused to test for. It has also been connected to sexism (women are more likely to be perceived as being overweight) and racism (Blacks and Pacific Islanders both are more likely to be “overweight” by medical standards while being physically healthy – there’s some indications there might be genetic reasons for this).

Anonymous 0 Comments

Weight serves two purposes in general health:

First: Weight is a good indicator in the modern world of unhealthy habits. Specifically, weight gain is often connected to poor diet, a lack of exercise, and other lifestyle issues that have other negative impacts on your health. Even if it’s not habits, there are a lot of health issues that can contribute to being overweight, including hormonal issues and some chronic diseases.

Second: excess weight often has it’s own impact on health. Extra weight means that you need more oxygen so your lungs have to work harder; your heart has to push more blood around; your bones are holding up more weight and thus may be overstressed, as are your muscles and joints, and so on.

That said: there is good reason to believe that it is overused as a health indicator. There are a significant number of reports of health issues being dismissed by doctors saying “lose weight – it will go away”; in some cases resulting in the person dying from an easily-treatable medical condition that the doctors refused to test for. It has also been connected to sexism (women are more likely to be perceived as being overweight) and racism (Blacks and Pacific Islanders both are more likely to be “overweight” by medical standards while being physically healthy – there’s some indications there might be genetic reasons for this).

Anonymous 0 Comments

> Why is this so?

Data. We have centuries of data that show beyond any doubt, absolutely conclusively, that being overweight carries increased heath risks. It is a fact. We know for a fact being overweight is unhealthy and losing weight causes health benefits.

Anonymous 0 Comments

> Why is this so?

Data. We have centuries of data that show beyond any doubt, absolutely conclusively, that being overweight carries increased heath risks. It is a fact. We know for a fact being overweight is unhealthy and losing weight causes health benefits.