The Two Percent

The best avenue is to start to appreciate the functionality of our bodies,” is Rachel Begun, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says. “It is just amazing I have legs that can carry me from one place to another … that we have mouths that allow many of us to be able to speak. There is so much we can just appreciate and marvel at in our bodies.

The above quote is from an article I read today on CNN.com about the fewer than two percent of adults in the U.S. that are underweight. It’s an issue that most don’t realize even constitutes as a health problem. Let’s face it; with America’s attention currently focused on obesity, it’s hard for most of us to sympathize with someone whose body is a certain size. It’s hard for most of us who count calories, monitor their intake, and spend hours a week trying to ‘work off that slice of pizza’, but we all need to be aware that this two percent exist and it can be a real struggle for them.

“Fewer than 2% of adults in the United States are underweight, according to 2007 to 2010 data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics. To be considered underweight, individuals must have a body mass index of less than 18.5. A woman who is five-foot-six, for example, would weigh 114 pounds or less.”

The sad reality for most of the 2 percent is that if they’ll most likely be accused of an eating disorder before any other reason, thanks to our culture’s beauty standards. “She must have an eating disorder if she’s that thin, right?” I know I’ll be the first to admit that I usually jump to quick judgment whenever I see a woman of a certain size. In fact, not too long ago I had repinned the photo below on my Pinterest account.

A very good question...

I was really proud of myself for sharing this and really felt like it conveyed the right message. Not too long after this, an old high school acquaintance posed the question: While I admit that our beauty standards are skewing towards the unhealthily thin range, isn’t it just as bad to say that very thin women are not as attractive as curvier women? As soon as I read it, I knew she was right. I myself have friends and know women who have naturally thin builds and who probably wouldn’t appreciate being told they aren’t as attractive as a fuller woman.  (Especially if they work hard just to keep their current weight on.)

Anyway, check out the article and if you are in this two percent category, check with your doctor to ensure your low weight isn’t linked to a serious medical condition.

My Healthy Tip of the Day: If you are trying to gain weight, remember it’s about quality, not quantity. Your body is going to respond much more if you consume foods that are higher in nutrients, rather than calories.

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