The real message here is that most people today don’t realize that 5’9” and 169 pounds is overweight. In the 1960s the average 5’9” adult male weighed about 160. Today the average is over 190 pounds. The result is that because most people in the United States today are overweight or obese that no one recognizes what overweight really is. In other words if everyone is heavy no one is heavy. A new study has further pointed out that in addition to obese people dying younger, many overweight people have their lives prolonged only because of medications from the health care system. In other words they are living, but living “sicker:” medicated and feeling worse, when simply losing weight would allow them to be healthy and medication free.
The biggest tragedy then is that the new normal is overweight, medicated, and in worse health. Taking prescription medications in middle age used to be unusual, now not taking them is unusual. And whereas 30 years ago your doctor would have insisted you lose weight if you were heavy, the medical system now largely focuses on providing medications to prolong life but with a far worse quality of life and abstinence from food is rarely emphasized
That is the answer though, eating less – having the will to do so even if it is unpleasant. Eating better matters, but this is overwhelmingly a matter or people just eating larger portions that they used to – can you say “family size” side dishes in a restaurant.
This new study is important though in pointing out just how destructive carrying extra weight really is, much less extra weight than many realize matters. I am reminded of a trim attractive youthful appearing 60 year old patient with an ideal weight and good muscle tone who did quite well after knee surgery some years ago. She told me however that her girlfriends all told her she was too skinny. I was stunned and reinforced to her what a great job she was doing. Unfortunately she had to resist peer pressure to do so.