Metabolic vs Cosmetic Fitness

By Dana Sturtevant, MS, RD

We currently live in a culture that believes health comes in only one body size: thin. People (including physicians and other health care providers) make all kinds of assumptions about a person’s health just by looking at them (or calculating their BMI). Lucy Aphramor, co-author of the book “Body Respect” with Linda Bacon, says:

“I know a lot more about someone’s health from their zip code than their BMI.”

You see, our potential for health is influenced both by things within our control (the choices we make) and, more importantly, by things outside of our control (environment, genetics, and social determinants of health like socioeconomic status, race, oppression, stigma, etc).

When it comes the United States’ idea of health, people seem to be more preoccupied with meeting the culture’s narrow definition of beauty, than in doing things that actually support health and well-being. There is a BIG difference between looking fit and actually being fit; between looking healthy and actually being healthy. And research has actually shown, time and time again, that fitness and fatness can coexist.

To continue reading on the Association for Size Diversity and Health blog, please click here.