STAY HEALTHY! – June 2012

STAY HEALTHY!

By J. Manuel Cordova, M. D. 

Dietetic and nutritional Overview
PART III

 

 

nutritionalHOW MUCH DO YOU WEIGH­? How much should you weight? In the best of all worlds, the answers would be the same. In reality, they aren’t. The latest version of recommended weight for height comes from 1990 edition of US Dietary Guidelines for Americans, published by US. Department  of Agriculture.

Height-weight tables are very controversial. We can not settle the debate, but we can offer insight into what the latest height-weight table means to your health. And now, what is a healthy weight­? The dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that you maintain a healthy weight. Figuring healthy weight should be based on three factors: a height-weight table, your body shape, and your health status. 

Height-weight table: Depending on your age and height, the latest table lists broad ranges of recommended weights. Don´t focus on the numbers alone. The table is helpful only as a guide. Some medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke are related to weight. If losing extra pounds may improve your health, then a lower weight in your height-weight range may be healthier and thus more important for you than it is for someone who does not have a medical problem. 

What is a healthy weight? There exists guidelines to maintain a healthy weight and these are based on these factors: 

A height-weight table, your body shape and your health status. 

The Heights-Weight table depending on your age and height, For example, if you are a 60-year-old man or woman who stands 5 feet 8 inches, you can weight from 138-178 pounds, higher weights general apply to men; lower weights to women. This allows for differences in muscle and bone. Don´t focus on the numbers again alone, the table is helpful only as a guide. 

 Apple versus Pear shape? 

How excess fat is distributed on your body can be a health risk. Extra weight that settles about your waist (apple- shaped body), puts you at a higher risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes,  additional fat in your hips, and  thighs (pear-shaped-body) means you probably don´t have any greater health risks than people who aren’t overweight at all . 

Take a good look at yourself in the mirror. Does your shape resemble that of an apple or a pear? One way to determine whether you have the apple or pear silhouette is to determine your waist-to-hip ratio. The distribution of your body fat stores is determined largely by heredity, although the amount is determined by how you eat and exercise customs.

Work at attaining and maintaining a lower body weight to reduce weight-related health risks due to storage of body fat. 

Remember, some medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke are very related to weight. If losing extra pounds may improve your health, then lower weight in your height-weight range may be healthier and thus more important for you than it is for someone who does not have a medical problem. 

Review your health Condition 

Despite what tables say, you may not have to lose weight if you are in generally good health and have a sense of vigor and normal values of cholesterol, triglycerides, sugar and blood pressure.  In the end, the weight that´s most healthful for you may be one that you can comfortably attain and maintain through sensible eating habits. Practice a healthful lifestyle, and chances are you will keep your weight at healthy level.

 

To be continued–

 

Ojo Del Lago
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