Health at Any Size?

Nurses General Nursing

Updated:   Published

Health at Any Size?

I just watched a video that discussed this movement. It is closely aligned with the fat acceptance movement.

I totally support body acceptance.  People should not feel shame about their appearance. But, the Health at Any Size movement is most definitely spreading misinformation about the health effects of obesity on ones health. Like many movements these days, online communities develop and people start talking in echo chambers.

Yes, there is a huge genetic component to who tends to gain weight and who doesn't. But, the Western diet of constant calorie intake in the form of high carbohydrate foods is hurting people's health. And the uptake in obesity is contributing to many chronic modern diseases.

Healthcare practitioners should be exhorting people to improve their diets. So many of our current health problems result from people just packing away too many donuts and soda pops. The food industry is a big problem. The school system also gets kids started on junkie school breakfasts and lunches Laden with sugar and empty calories. This is a public health crisis.

Hoosier_RN, MSN

3,956 Posts

Specializes in Dialysis.

I agree! Body shaming is wrong, but acceptance of unhealthy habits doesn't help the public at large maintain good health and stay away from the MD. It's so hard for us, along with the rest of the healthcare team, to teach good healthy habits when corporate media is ramming instant gratification of junky foods, sodas and drinks, and a pill/med to cure it all on the TV 24/7

Emergent, RN

4,240 Posts

Specializes in ER.

Sometimes in our overmedicated society, people don't understand the definition of healthy. I remember asking a patient if he had any health problems and he said no. Then I looked at his med list and he was on three different blood pressure medicines. I said to him that it looked like he had high blood pressure. He replied that he didn't have high blood pressure anymore because he was on medication.

 

Hoosier_RN, MSN

3,956 Posts

Specializes in Dialysis.

HTN and diabetes are the top 2 causes for renal disease. The number of patients in my clinic who think T2D isn't real diabetes because they don't use insulin just blows my mind. With the exception of a handful of patients amongst all of the 5 clinics that I travel between, all of the patients are obese to morbidly obese, but of course, weight isn't an issue 🙄

klone, MSN, RN

14,785 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership.

So you're saying the problem is not overweight, it's diet?

Emergent, RN

4,240 Posts

Specializes in ER.
klone said:

So you're saying the problem is not overweight, it's diet?

What is your opinion on this subject? 

klone, MSN, RN

14,785 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership.

My opinion is there is a lot of validity to this program. The reading I have done on the research they've cited has shown that among individuals, it's more effective to look at specific issues like cholesterol levels, BP, A1c, cardiovascular health, etc, than WEIGHT when it comes to behavior modification. 

NICU Guy, BSN, RN

4,161 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

Have you seen the CDC Obesity Maps that show the percentage of a state's population with a BMI >30 over time? In 1985, the top color was 10-14%. Over the next 25 yrs, they added four new colors to the map. In 2010, they gave up adding new colors and made the top color >=30%. In 1985, only 8 states had 10-14% of the population labeled as obese. By 2010, no state had less than a 20% population obesity with 12 states having excess of 30% of their population obese. I have an issue with the BMI scale since it considers weight regardless of its source (fat vs muscle). You can have a bodybuilder with 10% body fat with a high BMI and is considered obese according to BMI scale.

 

Emergent, RN

4,240 Posts

Specializes in ER.
klone said:

My opinion is there is a lot of validity to this program. The reading I have done on the research they've cited has shown that among individuals, it's more effective to look at specific issues like cholesterol levels, BP, A1c, cardiovascular health, etc, than WEIGHT when it comes to behavior modification. 

I think, if there is emphasis on dietary changes, without the pressure of weight loss, then healthy weight loss will often naturally occur. 

There are many dietary paths to healthy eating, btw. Also, there is more and more research into genetics, and the best diet depending on the individual. 

Just admonishing patients to "lose weight" is seldom helpful, IMO.

Hoosier_RN, MSN

3,956 Posts

Specializes in Dialysis.
klone said:

So you're saying the problem is not overweight, it's diet?

 

Tenebrae, BSN, RN

1,945 Posts

Specializes in Mental Health, Gerontology, Palliative.
Emergent said:

Sometimes in our overmedicated society, people don't understand the definition of healthy. I remember asking a patient if he had any health problems and he said no. Then I looked at his med list and he was on three different blood pressure medicines. I said to him that it looked like he had high blood pressure. He replied that he didn't have high blood pressure anymore because he was on medication.

 

Thats happened to me before. The patient denies having any medical conditions and than hands me a supermarket bag of their current medications. 

I find it a lot working in mental health. People get better and then stop their medication because 'I'm better, and don't need it any more. Not able to comprehend that the medication helps keep them well

And then roll on the inevitable relapse and admission to hospital

Tenebrae, BSN, RN

1,945 Posts

Specializes in Mental Health, Gerontology, Palliative.
klone said:

So you're saying the problem is not overweight, it's diet?

I think its probably more nuanced than that. 

However if you were to look at the diet of an overweight person, its unlikely to be all that healthy. Speaking as an overweight person, who ate the wrong food eg missing meals, eating high fat, high sugar, lack of fresh fruit and vegetable my diet is on the improve, but its taking time. 

I learned many years ago if I don't love myself, it doesnt matter what size I am I'll never be happy. That said me at 189kgs was not healthy. I live with arthritis primarily from the effect all that weight put on my joints

Its possible to love and accept oneself and still have a desire to make change in our lives. 

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