If you’ve always been a normal weight without having to try too hard, you may consider yourself lucky.
But what appears is not a complete story, even if you have body-mass index (BMI) in the normal range, you could be just as unhealthy as an obese person.
This phenomena—sometimes known as skinny-fat, or “normal-weight obesity”—may affect up to one-fourth of normal weight people, according to a study in 2008.
Getting your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels checked is the only way to know for sure how healthy you are metabolically. But there are some warning signs.
1. Easy to ignore – A Muffin Top
A recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that normal-weight people with excess fat around their middle had an even higher risk of dying early than their overweight or obese peers.
It should be a warning sign if you’re slowly increasing your belt size or your pants start feeling tighter around the waist.
2. Well, if you can even do push-up
If you can’t remember the last time you broke a sweat, there’s a good chance this could be you. Without regular exercise, they you get more and more unhealthy, even if you are thin.
3. You family history can be a culprit
If a parent or sibling has developed diabetes, heart disease or high cholesterol, you may be genetically predisposed to these conditions, as well. Maintaining a normal weight will certainly lower your risk, but don’t just rely on weight.
4. You don’t give a damn about healthy eating
Consuming too much sugar and fat—and not enough vitamins, fiber, and lean protein—can damage your organs and raise your risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and more, irrespetive of your weight. So be careful the next time whe you see those calorie ladded fries.
5. Yes, beause you are South Asian
A 2011 study found that people of South Asian descent are more likely to store excess fat around their internal organs, compared to Caucasian people of the same BMI.
Genetics are definitely involved in how people store fat, but culture and diet also probably play a role, too.
6. When age is not on your side
Another 2014 study found that older adults should pay less attention to their BMIs.
Because we lose muscle as we age, it’s common for elderly people to have high body fat percentages, even at normal weights.
So guys, just don’t look healthy, but be healthy!