Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Can you tell how healthy someone is from just looking at them?

“People should be healthy and fit at whatever size they are”- a quote from Dr. Regina Benjamin, the U.S. surgeon general, who is shown in the NY Times Magazine* looking radiant and strong, and not looking skinny.*

As she no doubt knows, the health risks of being overweight have been greatly exaggerated. Much better measures of good health are cardiovascular fitness, blood pressure and blood sugar.

Instead of making a quick judgment about people’s health status based on their size, we need to take some time, give them a treadmill test, and do some blood work. If they don’t measure up, prescribe exercise and healthy foods instead of just prescribing “weight loss”.

* p. 14, 1/9/11

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