Los Angeles, CA –
While digits on a scale can help determine body weight, health status isinfluenced by a number of other determining factors. New research from the Univeristy of Albertaand Alberta Health Services is stressing that overall health is affected by avariety of factors, such as activity levels, television or screen time, anddiet, rather than just body weight and BMI.
A study of 181 obese children aged eight to seventeen years showed thatover a third could be classified as healthy – meaning not imminently at riskfor developing pre-cursor diseases related to type 2 diabetes or other obesityrelated illnesses. Researchers explainedthat lifestyle practices – such as how active a person is, what their diet is,and how mentally healthy they are all have an impact on overall healthindependent of obesity.
Though all the children in the study were classified as obese, those whowere metabolically healthy were more active and spent less time watchingtelevision then their peers. They alsoconsumed fewer calories, less fat, and less meat than other participants in thestudy as well. The study included notonly measures of obesity, but also looked at bone structure and body mass index(BMI) as well.
Researchers hope these findings can assist physicians and other healthprofessionals in understanding the complex characteristics of obesity, and canhelp them formulate treatment programs to tackle the issues.
“Since most children with obesity find it challenging to lose weight andmaintain weight loss over time, improving metabolic health by being physicallyactive and eating healthfully is an important result in and of itself.”
Many communities are making shifts towards encouraging overall wellnessin their populations by adding parks, walking and biking paths, and othersupport systems for those fighting a battle with obesity, or simply looking forways to become more active. Teachinggood nutrition and activity habits when we’re young can go a long way in makinga person healthier overall despite weight levels.
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