May 20, 2011

Being Healthy Does Not Necessarily Just Mean Losing Weight

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Joseph V. Madia, MD By:

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Eating Disorder Organizations encourage healthy lifestyle

(dailyRx News) Most people don’t understand the actual term 'healthy living'. Weight management is just one aspect of living healthy, but there are many other factors that should be taken into account.

There are a few states that passed mandatory Body Mass Index (BMI) reporting, requiring sudents would weigh-in, and determine their BMI. Several Eating Disorder Organizations feel weight and BMI shouldn’t be the complete measurement in determining a person's well being.

"Health, lifestyle and weight should all be measurements of well being."

The Academy for Eating Disorders (AED), Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), Eating Disorder Coalition (EDC), International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals (IADEP), and National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) have joined together to discourage mandatory BMI reporting and promote obesity prevention programs instead.

Eating disorder groups believe that mandatory BMI reporting is a good idea but maybe fueling weight discrimination. Requiring students with BMIs greater than 30 to take fitness classes to lose weight does not necessarily teach students that there are more aspects to being healthy.

Mandatory reporting may be neglecting other groups that are equally unhealthy but not necessarily overweight.

Mandatory reporting may cause harm to both parties - the students that have to take classes and those that don’t. The reporting could increase risk for developing eating disorders because people are more concerned about weight.

The researchers believe that we as a nation are losing sight of treating everyone equal regardless of body sizes and focusing on weight loss rather than promoting a healthier environment. We need to focus more on “lifestyle and activity patterns, and physical and mental health measures.'

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Reviewed by: 
Joseph V. Madia, MD
Review Date: 
May 18, 2011

Last Updated:
May 20, 2011