The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

Redefining obesity


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Oct. 19, 2018 - 7:13 AM

Redefining obesity

The Newnan Times-Herald

I had an angio screening done yesterday.

My employer provided it, free of charge, for anyone over 40.

I wish more employers did things like this. You have to assume if just one employee found out they had an issue that could be corrected early, it would save the company money in the long run.

I come from a long line of bypass surgeries and inserted stints. I think the Nix family crest is a probably fancy looking clogged artery.

Luckily for me, as of yesterday, I am all clear. So either I am still a little but too young to be an official member of the Nix cardiac clan, or I am a testament to the health benefits of a diet high in black coffee, red meat, real butter and fresh eggs. Time will tell, I suppose.

The one down spot on my scan is that I am officially obese. I am six feet tall and weigh 230-ish pounds. I get that I could stand to lose a few pounds, but I think obese might be a tad bit of a statistical overreaction.

Healthdata.org has estimated 160 million Americans are either overweight or obese. Last year, Time magazine claimed 40 percent of Americans are obese.

I know I may not be as much muscle as I like to pretend I am as I am peacocking around the gym, but maybe it’s time to see if we can’t find a better method for defining obesity. One which takes more than just height and weight into consideration.

We have enough information at our disposal to know being thin does not equal being healthy. No more than being pleasantly plump – as I like to consider myself – equals being unhealthy.

How fast can you run a mile? Can you bench press your body weight? I think numbers like that are more indicative of someone’s health than how their weight is proportional to their height.

Maybe if insurance companies started giving discounts to people who could hit certain achievements like that, people would start putting more effort into their health. Throw in a one percent discount for every mile you can walk in one hour and see how many people find a treadmill that year.

I know nothing about how insurance works, so take this column for what it’s worth.

I am lucky. Not only does my employer do things like offer free angio screening, they also offer gym fee reimbursement. It’s in their best interest for me to be as healthy as possible. It’s another step in the right direction that hopefully saves everyone money in the long run, while also giving me as many years as possible on this earth.

While I’m in the subject of changing how we define things, I would beg anyone to come up with a more realistic definition for what a “serving size” is. The amount of servings I get versus the amount of servings the label says I should get are usually drastically different.

Of course, if I stuck to the current proper serving size, maybe I wouldn’t be obese.    

Toby Nix is a local writer, guitarist and deputy sheriff. He can be reached at tobynix@yahoo.com