Weight – thin doesn’t always equal healthy



Key points about weight and being thin in relation to health

  • We all know that carrying excess weight is bad for you and increases your risk of developing a number of diseases, which is why many people assume that being thin equals being healthy.
  • However, being on the lean side doesn’t always guarantee good health.
  • Underneath a thin frame could be any number of health problems that an overweight person could have.
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A slim or thin frame could mask any number of health problems that an overweight person could have, such as high blood pressurehigh cholesterol or diabetes. A lean person could still carry a specific genetic variant that gives them a greater risk of developing a condition like Type 2 diabetes or heart disease, despite their lower body fat.

Striving to be thin can also be a sign that somebody is unhappy with their body image, or has problems with eating. Read more about eating disorders.

Here are our tips to ensure your lifestyle is healthy.

1. Having regular check ups

Health problems aren’t always visible so it’s important to get regular medical check-ups, especially as you tick off the birthdays. Make sure you get things like regular blood pressure checks, cervical smear tests, skin checks, and as you get older (or if you have any concerns), things like cholesterol checks, mammograms and prostate checks.

2. Eating a balanced diet

Being thin isn't a licence to eat whatever you want. Eating unhealthy food isn’t good for anyone. No matter your size, if you eat an unhealthy diet high in things like saturated and trans fats, sodium, processed meat and refined carbohydrates, you increase the risk of developing health conditions. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is also important for your brain, with high-fat and high-sugar foods having a negative impact on cognitive function. Our healthy recipes library is full of ideas for healthy eating.

3. Exercising regularly

Having a lean body type is not an excuse to be lazy or shun exercise! While keeping active can help with weight management, it also helps you to combat health conditions and disease, boost your immune system and energy levels, improve your mood and sleep better – and these are just some of the benefits.

4. Quitting smoking

Smoking causes the premature death of about 4,700 New Zealanders every year. It not only damages your health, but also those around you who inhale second-hand smoke. So now is the time to quit smoking.

5. Cutting back on alcohol

Cutting back on alcohol will do wonders for your health (and your wallet). Find out more about alcohol, its effects on your health, the harm it can cause, and whether your drinking is okay.

Sometimes being thin can be the result of a medical condition, such as coeliac disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or an overactive thyroid. If you are naturally slim but not feeling great, or losing weight without changing your diet, get checked out by your healthcare provider.

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Credits: Healthify Editorial Team. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.

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