Focus on Overall Health and not the Weight Scale
By: Sarah Pratt, MD, ProMedica Weight Loss Surgery
Recently, there have been many headlines about pandemic weight
The Journal of the American Medical
published a study that determined the average American gained
just over seven pounds over the past year.
The pandemic has affected everyone a little differently. Many
people have been dealing with a complete upheaval of their daily
routine and have been experiencing a lot of extra stress. For
some people, stress causes them to eat more. Some people are
also getting bored in quarantine, which leads to eating to
satisfy boredom. On top of that, many gyms have been closed,
making it hard for people to get physical activity in,
especially in the winter.
Our culture tends to focus on weight in association with
appearance. The number on the scale is not the most important
indicator of one’s overall health. Instead, each person should
determine his or her body mass index, which is one major
indicator of one’s overall health.
To determine body mass index, or BMI, divide your weight in
kilograms by your height in meters squared. There are many
calculators available online. A healthy BMI is between 18 and
25. 25-30 is considered overweight, and 30 and above is
Obesity has been well-researched to indicate that it can lead to
a shortened life span. Obesity is directly related to heart
disease, diabetes, and many cancers. It has even been associated
increased risk of more
severe disease when contracting
is also an inflammatory condition for the body, which causes
impairment of the immune system and susceptibility to other
People of color are disproportionately affected by obesity when
compared to the general public. According to the National
Institute of Health, among Hispanic American women, 78.8% are
overweight or obese, as compared to 64% of non-Hispanic white
The causes of obesity are complex, but we know there’s a
correlation between socioeconomic status and obesity. Access to
healthy food choices and safe physical activity is a serious
problem for many people. There are also environmental and
genetic factors that play a role.
Making the lifestyle changes to eat healthier and get more
exercise can have considerable health benefits. It is possible
to reverse the course of diseases like hypertension and diabetes
and prevent the long-term risks associated with them.
Lowering your BMI has been shown to cause an increase in energy
levels and often a decrease in joint pain. Fortunately, overly
strenuous exercise is not required to improve BMI, but some
physical activity is recommended.
The weather is getting warmer, and walking is an ideal way to
increase physical activity.
offers a wide array of trails and activities, and there is a
Metropark within five miles of every front door in Lucas County.
Individuals can contact Metroparks staff by calling 419-407-9700
if there are any accessibility needs. Additionally, there are
several city and community parks across our region.
Outdoor exercise is not only good for your physical health, but
it’s also good for your well-being. It’s a great social
activity, as you can meet up with a friend and still allow for
physical distancing. So, be sure to get out and enjoy the warmer