Are you honest with yourself about your weight? Does your weight concern you?

At the present time there seems to be an enormous emphasis on BMI, body mass index. Literally meaning how much fat your body is carrying in relation to your height.

Obviously, nobody would like to admit that they are obese, at best one might say 'I know I'm a little overweight' but what are you comfortable with, do you care?

The World Health Organisation is forecasting that almost one billion people will be classed as obese by 2020. The pressures that this will put on each nations health service could be crippling with the associated, related health complications.

As we age, I believe we become more comfortable with ourselves, with our weight, stature and even our appearance. As long as we don't have any on-going serious medical conditions does it matter if we're carrying a bit of fat? Are the medical professionals obsessed with obesity? Or is it really a ticking time bomb for the human race?

Good idea Valetie - I will!

I am sorry but weight is not always about calories in and calories burned. Try having hypothyroidism and taking 250mcg thyroxine a day - one of the highest levels. Also if you have hyperthyroidism it is very difficult to put weight on. Not all fat people are fat because of their diets.

Not wishing to be flippant, as a small person I have watched my weight and have been doing so since I was young so I do empathise with anyone with weight/health issues.....but when I was in school one of the taller slimmer girls told me that I had a fabulous figure it was a shame that I was not eight inches taller!

I probably am (my lifestyle unfortunately is to be permanently attached to the computer for work with coffee & chocolate keeping me company) but I am soooooo not going to check!

Why don't you start a new discussion and give some more details about HU? It sounds interesting, especially if it has current information/discoveries.

Thanks Valerie - I did check, which is why I wrote my comment!

A more relevant forum, as I’ve said several times on here would be Health Unlocked - U.K for ANY independent Medicale advice in English, except dealing with Cancer in France, then I have always recommended CSF!

H U is Totally health based - covers many different health concerns and conditions. Who wants to start admitting they may be obese on SFN lol! I’m pleased to report I’m not, according to my health check here today and BMI thankfully is not a problem I have to worry about!

It's probably if someone has searched for a particular topic, for example BMI and this thread has popped up, if they then comment on it, it revives the discussion. I've not checked for any recent comments but that could be the reason perhaps.

JMes & Catherine Can I ask why discussions that start and end in 2013 are re-churned at the end of 2015?
Ok a serious discussion, but lot of thinking and advice has moved on medically in the last 2 years - not to mention some contributors!

So at least make a new one with this years date!

SFN IS LOSING THE PLOT - time it lost some weight also!

For two decades I worked with indigenous Andean people in Peru. Because of the nature of the work I oscillated between one village up in the mountains and an established shanty town in LIma as my base for the urban work. Most of the people were 'pure' rather than mestizo mixes with European (or other races). There were exceptions like the school head whose house I lived in in the village but generally the people, as you say endo types, were a very much different physically structured. They had remarkably narrow and not at all fatty shoulders and quite small rib cages but below that their abdomens, hips and thighs were large and incredibly fatty. Liliana, my local research assistant, defied that. However it seems that her mother had had an affair with a certain Branco, a Jugoslavian working up there as a mining engineer seeking metal deposits. Branco was apparently as thin as a rake and 'tall' (taller than my then 1.70 which was also tall).

The medical people who were up there with me for a couple of months did all manner of measurements and so on. It would seem that the people had had generations of feast and fast, the latter often being prologued famine when even potato and maize (indigenous to that area and from where we got them along with a few other things) crops failed for several years. It was said that the endos who store fatty tissue from the years of plenty basically survived on what little was grown plus crude bread from wild cereal but no proteins whatsoever. The thin folk either migrated to other areas or died. I was studying migration all of those years and if you want, looked at in very simple terms, skinny people are more likely to migrate than tubbies. The two extremes there also explain the difference in how active the people are - the tall, slender ones did hunting, fishing and fruit collection that involved climbing trees, cliffs and so on whereas the small, solid ones did the agricultural work (hoes only - being a culture without ploughs) from land clearance, through preparing, planting and harvesting that slim people were not expected to do. Thus, being slim and 'clever' Olivio, the headmaster, had been sent to train to be a teacher when he was 20 or so because he had no real agricultural input value. The two body types mean something by their nature and that's the tuppence worth I know. Gives us endos good reason though...

You make an interesting point Anne regarding the moral dilemma, but where would you draw the line? Most professional athletes end up with knackered backs or knees. They choose to do the things they do and make quite a bit of money in the process. Do you think they should not have access to treatment for these self inflicted injuries?

i agree, weight is always a case of calories in versus calories burned, simple maths.

Also, however, nutrition is very important, as is understanding how foods are metabolised, as it is not just the quantity of food eaten, nor indeed the calories, but how the foods feed the body, or poison it, how they are metabolised, or how they affect the overall metabolic ticking over of the body.

Also, lack of exercise is not simply a question of laziness. Most jobs 50 years ago were much more physical. Most jobs now are sedentary. This in itself changes the number of calories burned, muscle tone, muscle strength, posture etc. Also, simple things like the introduction of central heating has had an impact on the number of calories the average person burns. This is not about laziness, it is about gradual lifestyle changes in our entire culture over the past 60 years.

Finally, i agree exercise, even twenty minutes of walking the dog every day, is essential, or indeed half an hour of moderate housework, or of moderate gardening...there are plenty ways to build regular and moderate exercise into life..taking stairs instead of escalators.. parking the car a bit further away and walking that bit further there and back. However, lack of exercise is not simply a matter of laziness. The past six months my ability to exercise has been radically reduced by a pelvis/back injury, and i was barely able to walk for eight weeks, and have been very restricted in what i can do in the following four months. I used to run around 20k a week. Now the most I'm allowed is a 20 minute gentle walk, and though my back is recovering, my pelvis is more stubborn, any more than 20 minutes, and any faster than a gentle stroll, and my sacro-iliac starts clunking around. Recently i was given the all clear to go walking in the sea, which i did, and now this week my sacro-iliac is clunking again... all i was doing was walking my dog, being careful, walking slowly and it just started clunky clunk, with the usual pains, stiffness, and i'm back to painkillers and anti-inflammatories, and small and slow steps and a lot of pain. It drives me nuts. I can't swim (rocks the pelvis)... I can gently scull on floating on my back with floats supporting my back and my neck, I can't cycle (same reason), I can't even do pilates (I researched hundreds of exercises online, started doing them, took photos of me doing them so i could ask my physio about if i was doing them properly and she nearly had a fit, put a pen through 99.9% of them, and gave me four or five very basic stretches as safe to do)... all i can do is keep up the gentle walks and hope over time this gets better... that's not laziness, that's just bad luck.

I have a small frame, and spent most of my adult life under 53 kilos. When I turned 38 I noticed my clothes getting a little tight... 54 kilos...55... so i started to increase my exercise and this kept the weight pretty stable... and very quickly back to 53 kilos again (within six months of starting running i was running 10k in 53 minutes, and a half marathon in 2h10).. I was running probably at least 20k every week split into 3 to 5k speed/intervals runs three times a week and a long run at weekends.

I'm currently unable to exercise, due to a pelvis/back injury, drives me nuts not being able to run, and my weight over six months crept up slowly to nearly 58 kilos. It was all focussed round my middle.

My physio recommended changing my diet, and what she described as an ideal regular eating program is pretty close to what is called the "paleo" diet. Fresh, real food, high in protein, high in fresh vegetables, moderate fruit intake, plenty eggs. NO grains, NO pasta, NO bread, NO pastry, No pulses... (no beer!)

It seems a good plan while I am temporarily reduced to short gentle walks on a flat surface, especially as any time i try to increase the length of my walks, or alternatively try short but faster walks, by sacro-iliac clunks and clicks and everything seizes up and I end up feeling i have a bag of rubble where my spine meets my pelvis and pains running down my sciatic nerves...

After three weeks my weight has stabilised around 55 kilos, and to be honest i'm eating loads. I'm definitely not skimping on portions.... (no beer!)..... but i do allow myself one glass of wine of an evening, you gotta live a little!

Thank you Cate. That was so helpful :)

Same here, try getting work published on the basis of a 'small' sample without lots of irrelevant and unnecessary theory and listen to the laughter between here and the next galaxy!

Nah, Clinique Pasteur in Bergerac, had it been the Centre Hospitalier de Bergerac where they 'accidentally' gave me a heart attack... There one might doubt literacy to begin with and perhaps your hypothesis is not so far from...

We have just started a low carbohydrate diet and though difficult, it does seem to be working. Being summer and having mainly salad is helping! I am obese but I have always followed the "cut out fats" diet. I have been great user of "weight watchers foods" and "slimming meals", when trying to lose weight. And they do work - but only temporarily. It was a Dutch, very slim friend, who started me thinking about sugar. When I meet him in the supermarket he is always looking in the chariot, taking things out and tut tutting. He would always exchange low fat spread for real butter (I would put it back when he left) and sunflower oil for olive oil. He and his partner always eat full fat yoghurt but they seem to have no interest in the wonderful pastries in my favourite section of the supermarket. Well, starting this low carb diet has made me look more closely at these issues and reading the labels on some of these "diet" foods has horrified me. The system seems to be - fat out - sugar and salt in. Obviously this is done to make up for the loss of flavour. But in my heart I know that sugar is my problem. Always has been.

So, I am now going to give a chance to "eat like the cavemen did". I cannot completely cut out all carbs. I love potatoes but we now have less than half of what we previously had and it is fine. I am a little concerned about fat, fat and more fat. It IS filling, no doubt about that and it is so nice to have some cheese for a change. However, my instincts stop me from taking the "eat mostly fat" to the line. You do need to exercise some common sense in this.

The only question I have is "what bread could we eat"? Can anyone advise. All white bread is now out in this house. But what about things like pain au cereales, or wholegrain - has anyone any advice to offer? We would be grateful as we both love a slice of bread but really don't want more sugar getting into our systems.

Being 53 now, with an hight of 1.85 m and a weight between 87 (summer) and 90 (towards the end of winter) kg I'm above the healthy BMI-level. But then again I couldn't care less. It's an indication derived from generalizations of measures done by a huge number of peoples. What counts for me is the balance between muscle, water and fat in my body. And that has been always well between the limits, during summer more muscle tissue (due to vineyard work, rugby and rowing) in winter more fatty tissue due to rest, less practice, long evenings with friends around the fire etc.

I get three check-ups annually (2 for the sports licenses and one for an insurance) and the opinion of those doctors performing the tests is the same: like Carla said: more calories in then out means weight gain, unless you have a disease that upsets the normal workings of that mechanism. Genetics play a role as does adapting an healthy life style, both physically and psychologically. For example a die-hard marathon man with a physique that might remind of WW-2 movies and a BMI that's way too low can still be a happy guy. And can you imagine Gerard Depardieu not being a overeating and-drinking actor? Both are more or less aware of the risks they run, but obviously don't care...

Cor, what a boon for all research! All those months and work saved :-D

But then research... My OH said something or other to the surgeon in Bergerac, who for some unknowable reason chose to answer in English about research to the effect of him 'having a job to get on with and when is he supposed to read research?'

True, but what one sees and if several hundred patients a year see each the two in Bordeaux and the two in Bergerac then do those patients have good example? But fine, not a general rule for all medics of course.

However, remembering the words of my friend Mark, he is an anaesthetist, when over a Friday evening drink one of the crowd was grumbling about not having chosen medicine for a career. Mark chuckled and said that the life style, hours and stress in medicine tends to pop them off earlier than other professions to the extent that he seemed to have proportionately few on his 'table'. They don't make it that far.

Brian, you make a very good point. When I was diagnosed with Diabetes 2 (and I have been clear on the past three years of checks now) I recall that after the family doctor - the aforementioned whippet I was sent to the 'proper' hospital specialist and a Dietician. Both ladies I might add. Tweedledee and Tweedledum!! Even my wife was astonished notably by the Dietician - talk about 'do as I say, not as I do'.

Seemed to make the whole thing nonsensical really.

Perhaps, based on the four cardiologists I have seen this year, too many doctors are carrying excess where they should tell others they have it? My médecin traitant certain bulges in the middle and I must smile, given he has cards on his desk for his wife's business. She is a dietician.

I'll raise a good black, sugarless espresso to your reality check!