Social Question

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Do you think that being overweight can actually be a wonderful thing?

Asked by Dan_Lyons (5452points) July 2nd, 2014

There was a time not so long ago when we all struggled to survive and the next meal was not so certain as it is today.
That we can eat more than we need nowadays is really a blessing.
I like to wear my overweight as a reminder to myself and everyone else that we were not so far from starving to death on a daily basis not so long ago.

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30 Answers

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Blessing? No, but sometimes I’m glad for my added weight when I encounter pervs, because they leave me alone now, and it used to be I had to spray Raid over my shoulder constantly to keep them from following me home.

El_Cadejo's avatar

No, when you’re overweight it isn’t a sign of “oh good, I won’t starve to death cause I can eat”, it means you are eating shit food that that will lead more health problems than one would encounter if they were average weight.

Coloma's avatar

Well….I’d rather see chubby than this!

johnpowell's avatar

My mom has type 2 diabetes. She has to constantly watch her blood sugar. If it goes off she gets so very tired. And it is super expensive to test it six times per day. And if it gets really bad she could need her feet amputated.

Enjoy that soda to prove you can afford shitty food.

jerv's avatar

In some cultures, obesity is a sign of affluence.

gondwanalon's avatar

Being slightly over weight (over fat) is not a big deal in my thinking as long as you are able to live a healthy lifestyle. (exercise regularly and vigorously, eat right, get your sleep, lay off the recreational drugs/alcohol/tobacco.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Sometimes I think so. My dad is very fat and he’s proud of it. Of course he has to be proud, considering how poor my family used to be and what a poor sick fellow he used to be.

@jerv Actually, the God of wealth in my country is depicted to be really fat.

johnpowell's avatar

@Mimishu1995 :: The fat mans diet in Vietnam is so very different then a fat person here. A two liter of Pepsi a day and ten corn-dogs got my mom sick. It is pretty much all sugar.

Your dad probably knows what fresh fish and a vegetable tastes like.

Blackberry's avatar

I haven’t been with a woman under 160 :)

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Ahem. (raises hand)

canidmajor's avatar

“Overweight” is a misleading term, as it is so subjective, and fraught with such a negative connotation. Morbidly obese, obviously not a blessing (hence the descriptor “morbidly”) but carrying more weight than is considered by the media to be attractive is healthy. When I had cancer, being chubby was a distinct advantage. When my friend had a bout with pneumonia that put her in the hospital, the word from the medical professionals was that her extra weight was helpful in speeding her recovery.
“Fit” is not determined by BMI, which is, after all, just another height/weight chart.

So, yes, being “overweight” can be a wonderful thing.
Obviously, being too “overweight” is probably not.

CWMcCall's avatar

I cannot think of one reason why being overweight would be a wonderful thing.

Khajuria9's avatar

No, I really don’t think so.

JLeslie's avatar

Studies are showing being a little “overweight” as we get older is a good thing for longevity. I think the average American is terrible ad judging what is overweight though. Overweight looks normal to a lot of people.

What @Jonesn4burgers said is true to, but it’s unfortunate.

Overall being overweight isn’t a good thing. It has negative affects on your health from heart disease related illnesses to cancer to skin infections, joint problems, can affect fertility, and it even gets harder to paint your toes if you get big enough. Being overweight, especially obese, costs more money for food, sometimes clothing, flights, and more.

canidmajor's avatar

@JLeslie and @Dan_Lyons: For purposes of clarity, would you both be willing to define “overweight”? Because it is (as I said above) such a subjective designation, I would be curious to know.

ucme's avatar

“Wonderful” is clearly the wrong word, i’d have thought maybe “Convenient” or “Beneficial” would suit better.

jca's avatar

I heard on the news recently that slightly overweight (which I would define as having 20 lbs extra or less) is helpful to offset the effects of bone deterioration in elderly women. I think like someone mentioned above, a small amount of extra weight might be helpful if someone gets sick from pneumonia or cancer and loses more. If they were already at their thinnest, they would be skeletal. However, anything more than 20 lbs is more harm than good. Joint replacement, heart problems, diabetes, the list of negatives goes on and on.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor Overweight I use as above normal weight and not obese. But, overweight technically includes obese. I look at the typical height and weight information, the military has a chart that I think works, but that can be inaccurate for people if they have a lot of muscle. BMI is also something we can look at. The two usually line up though. Body fat is another way to look at it, but sometimes very very lean can be unhealthy just like high percentages of fat, and the person can be at an average weight.

The old simple rule for goal weight for young adults (we used it for high school and college) was for women 5’ is 100 pounds and multiply by 5 for every inch above 5’. So, 5’4” would be 120. That’s a target weight, it doesn’t means 125 is overweight. Nornal weight is a range. Men the old calculation was multiply by 6 after 5”. So, 5’10” was 160 for young adults. All numbers go up a little as we age. This kind of agrees with the height and weight charts.

For more of a visual. I think a woman who is 5’6” who wears a size 12 is overweight. 10, is getting heavy. 8 would be average/normal. 6 would be thin. Although, vanity sizing is so out of control stating sizes is almost ridiculous. Man 5’10 waist 32 is average, 34 getting to the top of normal, 36 overweight.

It’s all a range, there is not a specific weight or fine line, it’s a wide line.

canidmajor's avatar

Ah, then by definitions above, when I was 24, working outdoors, eating exceptionally well (I lived in the Northwest, getting most of my food from people’s gardens, farm stands, and the Pike Street Market) I was overweight. At 5 feet tall I was a size 12, not overly muscular, but strong and curvy. I was not on the extreme of the bell curve at all, but healthy normal. Height/weight charts are so general that I feel they are almost worthless. Metabolic measuring would be helpful, as would measuring body fat percentage, but I think they have not come up with easy ways for the general public to measure such things, yet.

I recognize that there is an issue with obesity, I don’t think anyone with any sense can deny that, but what so many consider to be “healthy” in this day and age seems to be governed more by aesthetics than reason.

JLeslie's avatar

5 ft and size 12, since you are American then yes, you were probably overweight by almost every measure, including if I was just looking at you. Unless you mean you were a size 12 top because you have very large shoulders and breasts. Or, maybe a 12 to fit your hips, but always have to take in the waist on pants. Eating a lot of healthy food and exercising is great, but if you eat too many calories of any food it gets stored as fat in our bodies. That’s just how the mechanism works. Some people hold the fats in better places than others, which does affect health from what the studies say. Also, some people have more stuff clogging up arteries, fat is held in different places on the body depending on genes and other factors. Now, I say overweight, but you might have looked very average or normal weight.

I’m 5’6” and when I am a size 10 I feel overweight, although I don’t feel I technically am. I’m average in the curvy area, c cups, average hips, but I hold a lot of weight in my stomach. Someone else my height and weight might be distributed better, more curvy, less stomach fat and be much healthier, but if they were a 14 I would say they probably are overweight. At size 10 I also feel I look like an average/normal woman in her mid 40’s. Even at size 12 I think I would look average, but that is statistically average, we see women that size all the time in America, so it looks average/nornal.

As I said above, clothing size for women is a terrible weight to discuss weight though, because vendors size so differently and vanity sizing has increased again in the last ten years. I also said science is finding that a little overweight for older people seems to be protective and healthy, and maybe they will change some of the tables eventually for people over a certain age.

Are you saying all your numbers were good like sugars, choesterol, blood pressure, etc? I don’t doubt it. We probably don’t know what the inside of your arteries looked like or how well your body was fighting off cancer that sort of thing. When I was a skinny 16 year old I still had very high choesterol. Genes can really screw you. My cholesterol is the same when I am 130 and 150. The only thing that affects it is how much cholesterol I eat. One of my water aerobics instructors had a scare and they did an angiogram. She was overweight by anyone’s terms I think, easily a size 16 or 18, and held a lot of weight in her stomach, built like a box, and her arteries were perfect. I’m so jealous of that.

The weight measures for health are just averages and each person as an individual might not fit into the average.

ragingloli's avatar

For the cannibal you meet, yes.

jca's avatar

5 feet tall and size 12 is overweight, I agree. Friends that I knew that were 5 feet two inches tall weighed about 115 and they looked good. To be size 12 at 5 feet is overweight, I agree with @JLeslie.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor What do you mean by metabolic measuring? The majority of the population has a normal metabolism.

Coloma's avatar

It is true that some extra weight is beneficial, 20–25 lbs. not 60, however.
Extra weight aides a stronger immune system and for women also protects against bone density loss as we age, protects from broken bones from falls. Also, if one falls ill, having some reserves to draw upon is a good thing. If one loses 30 lbs. and ends up at their ideal weight after a serious illness this is much better for the body than to end up 30 lbs. underweight.

I was very sick with kidney infections some years ago due to a blocked Ureter that needed surgery. I was very petite at barely 5’4 and weighed about 115 lbs. After 10 days of no food, IV treatments and nourishment through IV only and then another 10 days of a clear liquid diet only, I lost about 20lbs. I was so small and thin at that point I could hardly walk 50 feet without needing to rest.

talljasperman's avatar

It is O.K. if you are sumo wrestler.

bomyne's avatar

Absolutely not. I hate being overweight because with it comes all sorts of problems. I lack self control. I over eat. I eat the wrong foods (Too many pasta/potato/rice dishes, not enough salads, etc). I’m constantly tired. I can barely walk around a shopping center to do my weekly shopping without needing to sit down. And when i do, i buy ice cream, I buy lollies. I buy Coke. I buy other high sugar foods, and they just add to my problems. Not to mention the higher risk of heart attack and other medical problems . I would gladly trade being overweight with being underweight, any day.

So no, being overweight in any form is not a wonderful thing. It’s hell. Literally.

Coloma's avatar

@bomyne Well it depends on how overweight one is.
20–30 lbs. is not 120 lbs. overweight. Modest overweight is not to be compared with morbid obesity. Apples & oranges.

bomyne's avatar

@Coloma To quote Wikipedia “Overweight is having more body fat than is optimally healthy.”

That is the definition to go by. Being even 1g overweight can be unhealthy and the further you go, the worse the health effects.

There is a flip side… being underweight can lead to health issues too.

If you are unsure of your ideal weight, check out a BMI calculator . For me, my healthy weight range is 57–76KG. Anything outside of that is unhealthy and potentially dangerous

Coloma's avatar

@bomyne True, to a degree, and yes, underweight is just as bad. Too much fat around the heart or the heart muscle being starved. Anorexics die from heart malfunction and being a little overweight builds a better immune system and protects against broken bones as we age.
Bottom line, what other people choose to do is none of my business, if you want to eat junk food, smoke, whatever, your choice and not mine to judge.

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