For years, we've heard whisperings of this crazy idea that perhaps health doesn't directly correlate to weight. That obesity isn't the only precursor to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. That maybe, in fact, thin people with unhealthy behaviors may be ticking time bombs for heart disease, too. Now, finally, more researchers are screaming from the rooftops about this mind-blowing (yes, that's sarcasm right there, folks) phenomenon, which they're labeling "skinny fat."
As Time puts it, we've been turning a blind eye to this problem, because our "culture obsessed with weight doesn’t always remember that appearances of health can be skin deep." But hopefully, new findings will serve as a reminder that the scale isn't the ultimate reflection of wellness ... by far! Here, six signs you might be a skinny person who is actually this deadly kind of "fat" ...
- You're thin but ... you never/rarely eat vegetables. Because you never learned to love 'em, or you just figured that salads are for people on a diet, and why go on a diet if you're not "fat"?
- You're thin but ... you love steak. A little too much. And burgers too. After all, why worry about eating too much red meat if you're not packing on the pounds?
- You're thin but despise working out. Cardio is just for people who want to burn calories anyway, right?
- Speaking of calories, you don't see the point in being conscious of 'em, or fat grams, or most importantly, looking at labels of foods, because again, you figure that's just for people who are trying to "lose weight."
- Your BMI (which has been called out time and again as an imperfect measure) may look perfect on paper, but you have a high level of body fat. Wake-up call: A study published last year in the American Journal of Cardiology found older adults who fit this description are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease and death than previously realized.
- You're that skinny person everyone envies because you can seemingly subsist on processed foods -- especially sugary ones -- and never gain an ounce. But Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, warns that this exact habit "causes visceral fat storage, and that can lead to all sorts of risk factors of being overweight" -- even if you look svelte.
How do you feel about the concept of "skinny fat"? Do you think we could stand to be more aware of this?
Image via skamille/Flickr