The problems associated with being overweight

While the traditional definition of overweight or obesity as per the Body Mass Index (BMI) scale may not be completely accurate, there do seem to be some negative health consequences of carrying more weight than is healthy for your body.

These consequences may include, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers.

Ultimately, gaining weight is a result of eating more calories (aka food energy) than your body is expending. And vice versa= losing weight requires consuming less calories than you expend. Genetics can play a part in the ease to which you maintain a low body weight, however. Some people find themselves having to watch what they eat much more closely than others to keep their weight within the ‘healthy BMI range’. 

Unfortunately, there are number of socioeconomic factors that effect a person’s food choices. Poor knowledge around what a healthy diet is and/or poor cooking skills may prevent a person eating a healthful diet. Similarly, time or money may be another barrier to eating a diet that allows a healthy weight to be maintained.

Other potential contributors to weight gain:

  • Pregnancy- this one goes without saying as weight gain is expected a part of a healthy pregnancy BUT many women find it difficult to lose weight post baby and sit at a higher weight long term after this
  • Quitting smoking- smoking can suppress appetite, so after quitting a person may find themselves feeling hungrier. Food may also be used as a coping tool when the withdrawals from quitting become too much. 
  • Stress- stress has many negative effects on the body and increased appetite can be one of them. An increased appetite may lead a person to overeat, resulting in weight gain.

Weight loss can be tricky- it can be slow, and motivation can wane. Instead of focusing on weight loss, consider what healthy habits you could focus on- e.g., eating 5 serves of vegetables every day, increasing your daily step count or eliminating sugar sweetened beverages. A more nutritious diet will leave you healthier in the long run and weight loss may just come as a side effect!

A healthy body weight is one which you easily maintain while moving your body in ways that you enjoy and eating a healthy diet that meets all your nutrient needs and leaves you feeling energised and satisfied. 


About the author

Cheyenne Holman

Cheyenne Holman

Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD)
Accredited Sports Dietitian
Certified Personal Trainer
Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher