Weighing in on the Subject of Weight: How Much is too Much


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The weight management subject will require a series of missives to address. This, the first is when to recognize you have something that should weigh on you.

This subject may not be popular in the USA, especially in those more senior, but like taxes, it must be dealt with properly or the consequences can be catastrophic. Most people are in denial believing that weight gain just is inevitable in their senior years. NOT SO. My Grandparents and Mom were in rest homes and there were almost no residents that were obese.

The main number for weight determination that you should calculate is your BMI (Body Mass Index). Google “BMI calculation.” or use the following link Body Mass Index Calculator and input the info about your height and weight and a number will appear. 25 or less and you are OK. Over 30 is OBESE and schedules a bumpy ride!  Get with the program! Living well requires recognizing the truth and acting sensibly.

Waist circumference is another way to determine action is needed. Women should be concerned over 35 inches and men over 40 inches. Another perhaps more meaningful measurement is the waist circumference to height ratio. It should be 50% or less.

Where you have stored fat is important. Generalized subcutaneous fat is less harmful than “visceral adiposity” is a kind way to announce someone has a “BEER BELLY.”  A greatly increased abdominal size is a factor in the undesirable metabolic syndrome which is to be avoided as it forebears health problems.

Our bodies have the capacity to store energy in the form of adipose tissue which is the polite way of saying FAT. This was necessary because our ancient ancestors were opportunistic eaters with a real danger of starvation. Hunters might be successful with a kill and provide a feast only afterward not have food for an extended period. Those who gorged themselves and their bodies preserved the excess survived periods in which others perished. We have their genes and therefore their appetites.

In modern times when immoderations are everywhere present, excessive gorging can overwhelm the subcutaneous storage spaces and result in our important organs becoming fat containers. The most obvious are abdominal organs with the essential organs – liver and pancreas being the first to suffer.

Our bodies do not make more cells to store fat as more fat accumulates. The storage cells for fat enlarge. Capillaries furnishing oxygen for energy needed for life do not increase and diffusion is limited, so big fat cells can become depleted of energy from lacking oxygen and signal they need help. Cells that are distended secrete signaling materials termed cytokines (from Greek meaning cell motion). These can start the body to make preparations for removing cells that will increase the aging process. You do not want this. Aging does not need to be speeded up!

 

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