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Obesity and the Media

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Obesity and the Media

Postby Aldebaran » Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:55 am

When I hear media reports about how we have an increasing obesity and overweight problem in Australia, I start to get a bit cynical. They quote figures like 'nearly one out of every three Australians are obese or overweght'.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a BMI of 25.3. I've been eating healthy and exercising more than the average person for quite a long time. Technically, 25.3 put me in that 1 in 3 statistical bracket, although I felt really fit and really no different to what I do now, on the cusp of the 25.0 which marks my return to a 'normal weight range'.

So I see the shock tactic of lumping together obese and overweight to get a higher percentage as not being very helpful.

I have no problem with the idea that the population is getting more overweight, but my gut feeling (no pun intended) is that a large number of the population must be in that range where they are perfectly healthy, but unwittingly become part of the overweight statistics. Another related aspect is that those people with a higher muscle development could be classified as obese according to the classification based on BMI.

Obesity seems to be being treated as a disease, even though you can be obese and healthy. What other condition is treated because you're not actually sick, but there is a chance you'll get sick? Can you imagine going to the Doctor and saying "Doctor, I have an increased risk of catching pneumonia" ?

If they are going to stick to BMI, maybe they should just use the Obese classification of BMI's over 30.

Now in terms of weight loss, I think it's a great thing as long as you can maintain your health. I guess what I'm saying is that BMI is just one of many measurements you can use. Body fat content is probably much better, and that's what I prefer to use personally.

I remember that they used to say "If you can pinch more than an inch, then you need to lose some weight". Well I can pinch about an inch, so it must be a good rule of thumb. When you get close to your ideal weight, I find that it becomes more difficult to define your target - or am I just being fussy?
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Postby Dolly » Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:57 am

I agree with you, what they class as overweight is far from obese and is not really detrimental to our health.

Although I thought it funny when you used as your example saying to the "Doctor, about having an increased risk of catching pneumonia" Because I actually do.
I'm imprisoned in my house because I suffer from allergy induced pneumonia, when I breathe in certain chemical smells such as second hand tobacco smoke or perfumes and aftershave I have a high risk of catching pneumonia, I instantly get a sore throat that sometimes bleeds then the next day it turns into tonsilitis, followed by bronchitis then by the time 5 or 6 days are through I have pneumonia.
I do brave it out to the shops once in a fortnight but I have to wear a mask over my mouth/nose and everybody stares :oops:
I developed my chemical allergy suddenly when I reached 40 years of age.
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Postby Aldebaran » Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:50 am

Sorry to hear about that Dolly. Considering that you can't get out and about so much, you've done well to lose what you have.

I guess my example was not that improbable.
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Postby KimE » Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:39 pm

I think I understand what you are saying about goals Jim. I have more than one measurable goal which may be like hedging your bets but the thing is I don't really know what I will look like at my goal weight of 55kgs. I was asked when I joined the gym if there was a certain dress size, I have no idea what 55kgs looks like on me size 8-10 maybe? I would however like my body fat to be at 18%, boy have I got a ways to go! Now the thing is as we get closer to our goals perhaps we see the potential to do better than the goal thereby making it seem undefined. Does the goal ever really end. You reach your ideal body weight, body fat or whatever you have set. Then you need to maintain it so is that the new goal? Perhaps you want to be leaner, more muscular, more shaped? Another goal?

For now I will head to my goal and once there re-evaluate.
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Postby Dolly » Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:42 pm

Kim this site might help you find out what you'll look like at 55kg
click here - My Virtual Model
You will probably need this kilogram to pounds link too - LINK

Here is my model of myself
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There used to be a male my virtual model too, but I don't know how to change it.
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Postby KimE » Thu Jul 20, 2006 7:08 pm

LOL thanks Dolly, I can have fun with that for hours.
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Postby louise » Sun Aug 27, 2006 10:48 pm

i think its just the media's love of sensationalism. they like to make it appear as though there is an epedemic when there isn't. i mean i realise weight problems are on the increase, but i think with the media there is a bit of the chicken or the egg, whereby, they create this image whereby many people (esp. women) become so concerned about their weight when it really isn't like they are unhealthy, but they become unhealthy in becoming cocerned that they need to achieve such and such an image. i found myself, that when i first started worrying about my weight i really shouldn't have been; i was 60kg (a 21BMI), but i thought i was 'fat' and dieted, which just made me so crazy about watching what i ate i put on weight, because i didn't have a healthy attitude. i look at photos of myself then and wonder how i ever thought i was so fat!
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Postby Garfield » Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:10 pm

About setting goals... my original goal was to be in the healthy BMI range and/or size 12. Now I'm around 23 with the BMI and approximately size 10 most places. When you start out you never know just how much you can really achieve.
Louise is right about sensationalism in the media. You ever notice how those kinds of stories are always accompanied by people eating maccas or a close up of some fat guy's arse. I think it doesn't help the public attitude by portraying all overweight people as pigs and making it seem like it's easy to lose weight. Then people who don't know what they're on about start making nasty comments based on something they saw on tv. *rant rant rant*
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Postby tess88 » Mon Aug 28, 2006 5:12 pm

I definately agree that the media is making women and men feel concerned about their weight when they shouldnt be. When I was in yr 11 I filled out a questionaire thingy and it asked " whats your least favourite body part?" and I put my big hips! I was a size 8 and weighed 57kg, which is considered "underweight" for my height. Dont know what I was thinking!! Stupid media
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