The (healthy) overweight individual

I’m writing this after I’ve seen yet another (Yes. Another.) person attacked on social media solely due to their weight and what they look like.

Some people are trying to discredit the knowledge and ability of overweight individuals due to the fact that they are visibly overweight.

WHAT ???

Health is a multifactorial state that cannot be easily defined. Quite often a person’s appearance does not define whether they are healthy or not. (Occasionally you do see people’s health deteriorate to the point that you can visually see their state of unwellness but this is not a regular occurrence.)

A slender or average person may be thought of as healthy but perhaps they are not. Maybe they smoke 2 packs of cigarettes per day or a binge drinker. Are they healthy now?

Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Health is based on but not limited to:

  • Stress
  • Sleep
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Drug and cigarette consumption
  • Chronic conditions
  • Family history
  • Physical fitness

When an overweight person is assumed to be unhealthy they are being discredited in a major way.

Who is this person? Do they participate in physical activity? Do they follow a nutritious diet most of the time? Do they see their Family Physician when ill?

The questions above are few of many that could be asked that may help to reflect one’s health. But- we shouldn’t.

Why? Because it doesn’t matter. What matters is their privacy, how they actually perform their job, and that they’re a human who deserves the same amount of respect as everyone else does.

An example that has triggered this post is the recent online backlash against our Health Minister in Alberta. Her weight does not define her knowledge, health, the ability to complete her job, or who she is as a leader.

No one’s weight defines who they are as a person.

Obesity is a complex disease that most people without an extensive medical background (ie: Physician, Nurse, Mental Health Therapist, Dietitian, Physiotherapist etc.) can fully understand.

Do not be confused. It is not as simple as eating too much. 

Overweight and healthy is a real thing. 

3 Comments Add yours

  1. I couldn’t agree more! I’m a strong believer in Health At Every Size. Let’s focus on healthy habits like eating foods that fuel us, moving our bodies in a way we love and allowing moments of self-care. We are more than our bodies! Great post, Emma! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank so much Josee!


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