I believe optimal well-being is a journey. And one of the more challenging roads within that journey is maintaining a healthy weight.
First, I should note that the conversation around weight is a complicated one. For example, while weight can be a contributor to or byproduct of metabolic problems, experts now understand it isn’t the only factor to consider. As I’ve touched on before, only 12% of Americans are metabolically healthy, which means most of the population is unhealthy—even those who aren’t considered overweight. In fact, 20% of people thought of as “lean” are still metabolically unhealthy. That said, if you’re not at a healthy weight for your body, you can feel it.
We do need to have a serious conversation about weight, though: About 74% of Americans are overweight, according to the CDC, and 42.4% struggle with obesity. Considering COVID-19 outcomes were disproportionately worse for these groups—obesity alone almost tripled the risk of death, according to one study analyzing data from 15,529 COVID patients—we shouldn’t shy away from discussing the issue.
Of course, I wholeheartedly believe in the concept of body positivity—that we need to feel good in our bodies, that each and every one of us has our own definition of “healthy weight.” No one should be ashamed of being overweight, full stop. At the same time, it’s important to reflect on how it can affect overall health.