Why being thin doesn’t necessarily mean better health


Why being thin doesn’t necessarily mean better health

In the U.S., it’s hard to escape the notion that being thin is inherently healthy. Despite a shift toward a broader acceptance of different body types, a “thinner is better” mentality remains pervasive in many aspects of our culture. “We have had this misconception that you’re automatically healthy if you’re skinny,” says Tidelands Health family medicine physician Dr. Elizabeth Dixon, who offers care at Tidelands Health Family Medicine at Murrells Inlet. “But that’s definitely not the case.” 

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Research has consistently shown that maintaining a healthy weight can limit your risk for many chronic health conditions, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. But weight is one of many factors – including genetics and lifestyle choices – that impact health.
Risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and abnormal blood sugar levels can be present regardless of your weight.
That’s one of the primary reasons health care providers take a holistic approach when it comes to your health and consider factors like age, genetics, medications, gender and environment. Bloodwork and patient history provide vital information that physicians use to better understand a patient’s health status.

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Rather than focus on reaching a certain number on the scale, prioritize a healthy diet, regular exercise, sleep and stress reduction, Dr. Dixon says. A healthy lifestyle should ultimately translate into a healthy weight.
If you have any questions, she says, be sure to reach out to your primary care provider for guidance.
“We’re here to help,” she says. 

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