March 22nd, 2021

Focusing on obesity and the scale has not proven to be useful over the past 2 decades. Rather, focusing on healthy lifestyle habits is making some inroads toward a healthier life. In Scientific American from July 2020, an article entitled Treating Patients Without the Scale from July 2020, Virginia Sole-Smith takes us on a journey that should change our scale centric behavior.

The scale has given people anxiety over weight where what we really need is a focus on healthy lifestyle choices. Weight and body mass index are useful only in the context of the habits.

If the habits are unhealthy, then they are the problem, not the BMI or weight per se. Appearance is irrelevant to health. Cellular function and inflammation are.

A person with a lean BMI and poor health habits will end up with disease of poor metabolism as easily as a person with an advanced BMI and the same habits.

The obesity issue only is useful in that it most often correlates with poor lifestyle habits but not always.

For example, when surgeons first noticed sugar induced fatty liver disease, they assumed that the patient was an alcoholic, the prevailing cause of the time, only to find out years later that they were not lying about the alcohol so much as the patient was a sugaraholic. What is most often is not always and visa versa.

Read the article. Then ask yourself the question, are my health parameters likely to be good based on my day to day choices?

Dr. M

Sole-Smith Scientific American