It sounds like an oxymoron, but skinny fat is real and it can be dangerous. Elizabeth Chanatry was 16 years old, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Two years later, she has the same height and weight, as she did when she was sixteen: 5-foot-3-inches, and 117 pounds. Chanatry admits that her and her sister “are not toned, but we are thin.” She did everything right, she ordered sugar-free syrup, and drank diet soda. She was wrong. Skinny fat is more than what the eye can see.
There is a person with great metabolism and can eat anything he or she wants without gaining weight can have the same medical issues as an obese person. The medical issues include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and unstable blood sugar.
People tend to go no further than looking at someone’s weight in determining whether he or she is healthy or not. People who are overweight and obese are not necessarily unhealthy as people at a normal weight are not necessarily healthy. It boils down to people not eating what they should be eating.
As a culture obsessed with numbers on a scale, people should realize that health is more than simply a number. Dr. Daniel Neides, a medical director at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute and Chanatry’s doctor, he says that people look healthy but really are not. Skinny Fat people tend to be the kinds that can eat anything they want and not gain weight. Skinny fat is common, it can even be deadly.
Dr. Neides explains that a patient had decided to not take his blood pressure medication, he was a ‘healthy’ BMI, but he had a stroke that made him stuck in a wheelchair ever since. In 2008, a study was conducted that found about a quarter of U.S. adults have an unhealthy heart either because of high blood pressure or high cholesterol. People who are considered to have a healthy BMI – which is just weight vs. height, but have a high bodyfat percentage, are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and death than ever before.
Another study in 2013, published in the American Journal of Cardiology, showed that people who have normal BMI, but high body fat, have a significantly higher risk of metabolic problems and death. A diet high in sugar and processed foods can cause visceral fat storage (fat on the stomach and the organs,) this can lean to all kinds of factors leading to be overweight according to Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet. Visceral fat is significantly different from subcutaneous fat (fat beneath the skin). Skinny fat is more than meets the eye.
There are plenty of people who are considered “obese” but are not metabolically sick. There are plenty of people who are not even considered overweight but are metabolically sick. People can be fit even when they do not look it, and people who look fit may not be. Weight is a clue when questioning someone’s health but it is not a definition.
Skinny fat is defined as someone being considered “skinny” in some places and “fat” in other, hence “Skinny fat.” An example of skinny fat is a 46-year-old-man who has “skinny” arms, legs, etc., but he has a pot belly (the most common skinny fat). According to Francisco “Cisco” Liuzzi, a Manhattan based physical trainer, the solution to this skinny fat pot belly look is largely diet related. The person likely has a fast metabolism, so eat more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates and eat less or better yet eliminate sugary foods and processed foods.
It all boils down to food, replacing potentially harmful food with body nurturing vegetables. In addition, cardiovascular exercise helps speed fat on its way out. Skinny fat may be laughable for some people and brushed off as not a problem, but skinny fat can have the same effects as being obese just not the symptoms: skinny fat is more than what the eye can see.
By Jacob Dowd
Photo by Michigan Municipal League – License
Photo by Smallworldspictures123 – License