A word about body acceptance and positivity

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I’d like to say a word about weight and body acceptance.  I am so very happy to see that recently there has been so much focus on body positivity and self-love. When I was a teenager I was ridiculed for being a mere size 10-12 and it was really horrible. Nowadays there is so much more variety of shapes and sizes in women all over the media, and I think that is a wonderful thing.  Even when I was my most obese, I could still actually buy fashionable clothes that were comfortable and fit me. I am grateful that those options were available to me.
However, the more obese people there are at younger ages, the more we will have health problems when we are older.  I know many people who say “I am fat (or obese) but I am healthy, I have no other medical problems”.  Yes, when you are young and obese (overweight is BMI up to 30, obese is BMI over 30, morbid obesity BMI over 40) it is less likely to have other medical problems. But the longer you remain obese, the more medical problems will develop.
What I worry about- in myself and all of the children, teens, and millennials out there whose weights are on the rise- is that this generation will be the ones stricken with early onset heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, stroke, etc.  In fact, I already see many patients with just those problems who are in their early 20s and 30s or even younger- coming in to the hospital having heart attacks and strokes much earlier than they should be.  My point is: never feel as if you have to hide your body or be ashamed of it- your weight is only one component of your overall being- but still continue to work to be healthier each day.  Obesity is a chronic progressive disease, and treating it as such can help reduce the stigma surrounding weight. The bottom line is it not healthy to be obese, and we can all do a better job taking care of ourselves!

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