6 things that affect your health more than your weight

Weight is a scapegoat for almost everything. You are unhealthy because you are fat. You won’t gain much weight if you don’t eat like that.

Despite popular opinion, health is not so simple. I don’t completely rule out the fact that weight can play a role in your health. However, reducing every aspect of your health to the number on the scale is shortsighted and misleading. It is a form Fat phobia.

There are many factors that affect your health the most of your weight, and a lot of it is not even under your control. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is Five determinants Health: genetic factors, environment, physical habits, access to medical services, and social factors. Mental health is also an important factor. Here’s what you should know.

Factors that have a direct impact on your health

1. Genetics

Our genes determine a huge number of things for us. It’s more than just what we look like – the genes we inherit affect our health. You could have a genetic predisposition to develop it Diseases and conditions Such as high cholesterol, some types of cancer, sickle cell disease and diabetes. Predisposition does not automatically mean you will develop the condition, although your chances are higher.

There too genetic component For weight, with selected genes that predispose a person to be bigger or smaller. Certain genes affect metabolism, appetite, and body fat distribution.

2. Environmental factors

Environmental factors such as where someone lives and works will also influence it Health. Many other things are also environmental factors, such as access to clean water, food, air quality, and exposure to harmful toxins. Many people may not have to think about these things. You turn on your sink, and the water comes out. However, WHO estimates approx 12 million deaths per year attributed to environmental factors.

Studies have shown that people exposed to harmful air pollutants are 17% more likely to die of heart disease. Indoor burning of wood and kerosene or exposure to biomaterials also increases the risk of heart-related death. Those with fewer resources to seek general or specialized treatment are more likely to experience worse health outcomes.

Mother and son in the kitchen chopping vegetables for a snack.

kali9 / Getty Images

3. Physical habits

Let’s think of physical habits in two parts – what we eat and our physical activity.

Our food choices greatly affect our health: we are what we eat. A diet full of processed foods and saturated fats can negatively affect your health. He. She increases the risk Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer.

Most people associate a poor diet with obesity. However, you can be thin and have unhealthy eating habits, just as you can Heavy and provide excellent nutritional options. Your weight is affected by many things besides diet, so it doesn’t tell the whole story. Your metabolism, or your body’s ability to do so Process what you eatalso plays a big role.

The flip side of our physical habits is exercise. Fixed physical exercise It is one of the most important things we can do for our health – it keeps our bodies strong and reduces the risk of chronic disease. Exercise is good for you no matter your size, and negative stereotypes about heavy people who don’t exercise just aren’t true. Our bodies have different baselines, so it’s possible for us to stay fit and weigh more than someone who doesn’t exercise at all.

4. Access to health care

One of the most important determinants of a person’s health is Obtaining health care. Without the necessary prevention, diagnosis, or treatment for their conditions, people are at greater risk of fatal health outcomes. Health care barriers These include lack of insurance, transportation, and the cost of care. And now with shortage of doctorsWait times are longer than ever, and care is delayed even further.

Healthcare access cannot only be thought of as being able to physically access a doctor’s office. What happens when you are there is the other side of access.

when Someone is facing discrimination In health care, it reduces the likelihood that they will get the care they need or seek treatment in the future. Studies show that black people who experience discrimination have an increased risk high blood pressure. It’s a similar story for those who experience weight discrimination in health care—they’re more likely to see a decline in their physical and mental health. Older adults have the highest rates of healthcare discrimination – One in four adults is black or Latino She reported being treated unfairly, according to one 2021 study.

It is not enough to be able to access medical treatment. It should be healthcare that works for you. This is real access to health care.

5. Social determinants

social determinants An umbrella term for all non-medical factors that influence health outcomes. This includes someone’s circumstances Where they were born, raised, live and work. It also includes the conditions that shape our lives and the structural politics that guide them – racism, political systems and policies. It is estimated that social determinants account for up to 50% of healthy results.

Widely , Social determinants are disjointed into five categories:

  • Social and economic situation and economic stability
  • education
  • alive
  • community and social ties
  • Health Care

The social determinants will differ for each subgroup of the population, Allow for healthy inequalities that affect the type of care a person receives. These factors have a greater impact on a person’s health than their lifestyle choices. Let me say it again: Your lifestyle choices and your weight aren’t as important as factors like economic stability, education, and where you live.

But how is this possible? Think of it this way: If someone doesn’t have reliable transportation to the grocery store, their access to healthy foods goes down, and so does their nutrition. This is amazing It increases the risk Heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions. If they don’t have money to pay medical bills, they limit how often they go to the hospital.

A husband sitting next to his wife comforts her when she is upset.

Hispanolistic / Getty Images

6. Ignore your mental health

The CDC does not classify mental health as an official determinant of health; However, it should be. Our physical and mental wellness work together to keep us healthy. They are not separate parts of us. One directly affects the other.

Governorate Good mental health can reduce the risk Serious health conditions such as high blood pressure and heart attacks. Ignoring your mental health makes it difficult to manage current conditions, which harms the care you get for it and makes your condition worse. depression It is a comorbid condition with serious medical conditions. Studies have found that the incidence of depression increases Risks of cardiovascular disease.

However, access to mental health care is also at risk for many people. Stigma and cost of treatment remain Many people get it I needed help. Online treatment options You have Cut costs And she expanded mental health resources to areas where they didn’t have them before.

Very long; Didn’t you read?

Weight is part of our overall health, but it is far from the most important. Factors such as our conditions, genetics, environment, and access to healthcare determine our health. And don’t forget about mental health.

A heavier person can be healthier than a lean person based on these factors and their choices. It’s not just about weight.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

Leave a Comment