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Healthy Weight vs. Ideal Weight

At the beginning of every year, many men and women of all ages make goals to reduce their weight and improve their health. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, as of 2011, 35.9 percent of American adults older than 20 years were obese, and 33.3 percent of adults older than 20 years were not obese but were considered overweight.

With such a focus on rising obesity, attention to weight, health and eating has risen throughout media and brought immense coverage to losing fat and achieving “ideal” weights. Unfortunately, this attention has spurred unhealthy habits, unrealistic weight goals and eating disorders in addition to a reliance on fad diets and nutrition gimmicks. As it turns out, many “ideal” weights being sought by men and women tend to be lower than the average weights that would qualify them as healthy individuals.

One of the keys to feeling comfortable in your body is to understand the healthy weight range for your body type, and see if your desired weight is an accurate reflection of what you should strive to be. Desired weights that are too low are not only harder to achieve and maintain but can also be detrimental to your body’s ability to do vital functions.

“When discussing physical appearance and what potential patients desire with regard to procedures such as tummy tucks and liposuction, we hear quite a few stories highlighting unhealthy dietary habits and weight-loss goals,” says Albany plastic surgeon Dr. Susan Gannon. “In determining whether a patient is fit for such surgical procedures, we engage in conversation to make sure the patient’s image and overall health goals are appropriate for their body type and lifestyle.”

There are various resources online to help you research what your healthy weight range may be, but it is of utmost importance that prior to beginning any dietary or exercise plan, you consult with your primary care doctor to make sure your weight-loss plans and goals are appropriate. Setting a weight goal that is too low can lead to disappointment, stress and, ultimately, a less healthy lifestyle than what you are leading at your current weight.

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