Are Plus Size Women Healthy Or Unhealthy?

I was skimming through Facebook the other day and came across this really interesting read. It is quite insightful with the different angles of the topic being discussed and opening up avenues for discussion. I hope you find the read as interesting as I did!

The Truth About Whether ‘Plus-Size’ Women Are Actually Unhealthy

A plus-sized pear wrapped in measuring tapAshley Graham, the first plus size clothing model to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue, looks absolutely gorgeous in the mag this month.

But yesterday, Cheryl Teigs, a 68-year-old former SI swimsuit edition cover model, made some pretty loaded comments in an interview with E! about Ashley’s weight and buying habits, including her online shoes purchases. “I don’t like that we’re talking about full-figured women because it’s glamorizing them because your waist should be smaller than 35 [inches],” she said. “That’s what Dr. Oz said, and I’m sticking to it. No, I don’t think it’s healthy. Her face is beautiful. Beautiful. But I don’t think it’s healthy.” She cautioned that you can see massive body transformation results if you’re not careful.”

She then went further on Twitter:

”To clarify re bodyweight. Being anorexic/bulimic/overweight all connected to health problems. I want all to be as healthy as they can.” — Cheryl Tiegs (@CherylTiegs) February 26, 2016

Is being plus-sized really synonymous with being unhealthy?

Founder of Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Programs and Training, Michelle May, M.D. says, “Absolutely not. I do not agree with Cheryl at all—she’s completely inaccurate.” May believes that comments similar to Cheryl’s result in bias, stigma, and judgment towards weight

A recent study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that body mass index (BMI) is not a reliable way to measure someone’s health. Recent studies have indicated that almost 34.4 million Americans who are considered overweight by their BMI (score between 25 and 30) are actually healthy. The University of California-Los Angeles researcher also found that 19.8 million Americans considered obese (BMI of 30+) are also considered healthy. Staggeringly they also found that over 30% of those surveyed with a normal BMI range (scores between 18.5 and 24.9) are unhealthy.

This group of people often goes without having diseases diagnosed until they’re in advanced stages, since they believe they’re healthy, says Linda Bacon Ph.D., author of Body Respect: What Conventional Health Books Get Wrong, Leave Out, and Just Plain Fail to Understand About Weight; she is also a researcher at the University of California-Davis. Even when you see disease more among heavier people, it’s because of other variables correlated with a heavier weight, not the weight itself, says Bacon. For example, there’s a strong correlation between weight and poverty and a strong correlation between poverty and poor health, she says.

“What that tells us is that when we try to assess a person’s health simply by looking at them, we’re going to make major mistakes,” says May. You can’t—and shouldn’t—judge a woman’s health by how she looks in her plus size evening wear with womens boots or a swimsuit. Case closed.


You can find the full article here: