Question of the Week

January 27, 2003


What is a healthy weight?
What is a physically healthy weight?
What is a mentally healthy weight?
Whether someone is overweight or underweight, there are possible health
risks. So, where in the middle does someone find "healthy"?
Is it "healthy" to have a comfortable weight?
Is it "healthy" to have a fit weight?
Is it "healthy" to have a fashionable weight?
Is it "healthy" to be comfortable being underweight?
Is it "healthy" to be comfortable being overweight?

When using the terms "overweight" and "underweight", what is it that these
weights are over and under? Too confusing? Too many questions? While people of all ages are still struggling with these issues, it seems that some have decided to stop struggling to be different; they are be content where (and who) they are.

"The evidence that an evolution is taking place in young women's attitudes is preliminary eating disorders do, after all, remain a serious health hazard but glimmers of a new mind-set are emerging from teenagers, professionals who deal closely with them and even from images purveyed by the mass media."

"'I spend a lot of time in focus groups and a lot of time talking to teenagers,' Amy Astley, the editor of Teen Vogue, said. 'They really don't want to be told that they have to change. They don't want to fight their natural body type. They refer to certain Hollywood starlets as "skinny,"' she said, 'and they see this as passé.'"

Is ignoring weight and not stressing about it going to eliminate or cause more health problems? Eating disorders are still a problem, but so is obesity.

"But perhaps the most significant factor is the expanding body size of Americans generally, and therein lies the downside of the trend. With 14 percent of American adolescents already overweight triple the rate two decades ago the danger in an increased acceptance of bigness is that young people will balloon to perilously greater proportions, threatening their health."

The bottom line? There is no one answer that fits everyone. "Lots of people worry about weight. Despite what some people think, though, the best weight for a body does not necessarily equal skinny. the best weight for you is one where you are fit, healthy, and feeling good. That means that you need to eat well, exercise, and like your body. What better time to learn more about all that than Healthy Weight Week? You can start by reading these articles:"
(For more information on various health and weight topics for TEENS)

For more information on various health and weight topics for KIDS,:
"Take a look at the kids in your class. You'll see they're all different shapes and sizes. Some of them - maybe even you - might be worried about their weight. It's important to remember that a healthy weight doesn't necessarily mean being skinny. Feel good about your amazing body, which works so hard for you! Strive to keep it fit and healthy by eating a good diet and being active. To learn more, take a look at these articles:"

Question of the Week:
How do you find the healthy weight for you that is both mentally and physically right?

Please email me with any ideas or suggestions.
Note: Due to increasing amounts of SPAM sent to this account, please include "QOW" in the subject line when sending me email.

I look forward to reading what you have to say.

[email protected]
Health Community Coordinator
Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum

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