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Overweight & Malnourished


QUESTION:

I heard a news sound bite the other day about how obese people can still be malnourished.  Is this actually true?!?

ANSWER:

Absolutely!  Poorly nourished individuals can be seen at both ends of the spectrum (i.e., underweight AND overweight).  We typically think of malnourishment occurring only in individuals who do not have an adequate intake of calories or protein.  However, overweight and obese individuals can also be malnourished due to deficits in other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

When you actually stop and think about the causes of most obesity, it makes sense.  Many overweight individuals have packed on extra weight over the years because they not only lead sedentary lives, but they also have poor diets that are typically high in refined foods.  These highly refined foods normally contain lots of unhealthy fat and sugar and conversely are low in healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

That is why it is so important to consider all aspects of your diet when attempting to lose weight.  Calorie content is not the only thing that counts!  Although a calorie from junk food is the same as a calorie from a healthy item when it comes to ENERGY exchange in the body, it's not the same when it comes to your HEALTH!  To keep our body systems running at optimal levels, we must provide the necessary ingredients that can only come from a healthy, well-balanced diet.  Eat well - live well!

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Our expert, Dr. Sharon E. Griffin, holds a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in the areas of exercise science/physiology.  She also holds a second M.S. degree in Nutrition and is a licensed nutritionist and an ACSM certified health and fitness instructor.

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