The overpowering ‘health’ messages of today propagate a belief that a person is not ‘good enough’ if they do not meet a particular social ideal.

Whether this message is delivered deliberately, accidentally or subliminally, there is no doubting its volume.

I profoundly disagree with this sentiment.

In fact, I have always disliked the term overweight – it suggests there is an ideal weight we should all live at. It is also an inaccurate marker of health.

I know people who have a BMI in excess of 30 with excellent health profiles, living happy, productive, healthy lives.

I know just as many with BMI’s of under 25 who are unproductive and have dreadful health profiles.

I am not suggesting there isn’t a link between weight and health (there is) but it is not absolute and it is not particularly relevant.

I suggest instead, that at the root cause healthy actions precipitate good health and unhealthy actions precipitate bad health.

The choices a person makes to embrace life and cherish the body they have by showing it appropriate care are central to health excellence – not whether they fit into a certain dress.

Health CHOICES should be held up, not physiques.

The justification for this position goes beyond reasons pertaining to clinical health outcomes and delves into human psychology.

When we are encouraging people to live healthy lifestyles, rather than telling them they SHOULD lose weight we are taking an approach more congruent with success.

If people are to show desire to look after themselves, perhaps they need to feel worthy of giving it.

In a world that tells them they aren’t good enough and are not conforming to a universal ideal, this is unlikely to happen.

Health should be the goal, doing healthy things should be the goal. Not weight loss.

This “Battle against obesity” has to stop and a “Fight for healthy actions” needs to begin.

Government, doctors, trainers, dieticians and life coaches must collectively carry this message.

Ultimately, we need to start empowering people rather than telling them they are not good enough.


  1. DarwinHargrave 4 years ago

    I have been guilty of looking at the scale for affirmation that I am doing things right. I am in the process of looking at how I feel and the positive actions I take in all areas of life as more realistic barometers of my overall health. I love your short, direct, and on-point articles. Instead of running from the negative you go towards the positive. This is how I want to do life. Thank You.

  2. Amanda Cook 7 years ago

    I think this is one big reason why I subscribe with Team Body Project…..a MUCH more realistic way to look at working toward better health. Thanks, D. 🙂

  3. beth barkoviak 7 years ago

    Our insurance company has now instituted a policy that says if your annual health screening determines a BMI over 30 or a waist measurement over 35, you will pay additional premiums until you reach those goals! How wrong is this!!

    • Author
      Daniel Bartlett 7 years ago

      In my opinion this is very wrong and actually outdated.

      A better company (although still wrong in my opinion) approach would be to look at health behaviours to keep premiums down. IE: Lower premiums for non-smokers, regular exercisers, healthy eaters etc.

      The best approach: Make people feel good about themselves, lead by example. Arrange fun health days and team events. Make health a fun thing!

  4. Yolande Phillips 7 years ago

    Daniel,this is so beautiful !It comes from a very caring place and is so uplifting and encouraging.

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