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Obese Yet Malnourished


Imagine if you will, the surprise you might experience if you have been feeling run down with a malaise that will not go away to hear from your doctor that not only are you now morbidly obese, but you are also suffering from malnutrition despite the fact you eat all day, every day. Despite your excessive consumption of food, you learn that you are no different than many other obese individuals who have high rates of micronutrient deficiencies. That diet of fast food, pizza, soda pop and sweet treats has left you with a deficiency of specific vitamins and minerals that play important roles in glucose metabolism and insulin. All of which may contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome sometime in your future if you do not already have one of these conditions.

You can’t fix your hunger by just nutritionally empty calories. You’ve got to nourish yourself with healthy, nutrient-dense foods, in order to maintain good health and to not become obese. You are doing yourself no favors if you are the type who lives on fast foods or any other type of foods of poor nutritional quality. When you consume a nutritionally poor diet, you are dooming yourself to a life of obesity and health problems. You are responsible for your health, no one else. Your first line of defense is to change your dietary habits to one of whole nutritional foods. If you believe eating healthy is too expensive, you should consider the cost of good food is nothing when compared to unnecessary medical bills. It is a shame, but poor diets are now linked to more deaths than smoking.

 Besides getting fat, do our bodies have any way to tell us when we are hurting it with our poor nutritional habits? If so, what are the prominent signs?

Damaged Hair

Some people have naturally lush, beautiful hair. Others aren’t so lucky. But having great hair isn’t just about your genes. It can also have a lot to do with what you are, or are not feeding yourself. One of the first things to suffer from a poor diet is the hair follicles. Protein deficiency can be seen in stringy, straw-like hair. This can also be the result of a diet low in essential fatty acids, vitamin C, zinc, and iron.


We all get wrinkles, like death, they’re fairly inevitable. But we can control how early our skin starts to show signs of age by eating well and avoiding bad habits, like smoking or drinking alcohol on a regular basis. The best way to keep your skin looking healthy is to eat foods that are high in vitamins A, C, and D and antioxidants like flavonoids and carotenoids. It’s also a good idea to consume at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in a day.

Bad Teeth and Gums

If you’ve developed a case of bleeding gums or painful teeth, there’s a good chance you’re doing something rather terrible to your body. Smoking, eating the wrong foods, and drinking too much alcohol can all have an adverse effect on oral health.

While smoking can present major problems for the teeth, sugar is still the primary culprit. Consuming too much sugar, which is often caused by imbibing large amounts of soda, can wear away the enamel on the teeth, exposing them to decay and pain. You can help yourself by avoiding these beverages and increase your intake of vitamin C, which can help heal swollen and bleeding gums.

Weight Gain

Weight gain can be the result of binging on high-calorie, high-fat foods barren of important nutrients. You already know you did not get heavy by eating healthy.

Gastrointestinal Problems

If you’re constantly in discomfort following a meal, meaning you feel indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea, or constipation, it can be a sign that you’re doing your body harm. This could be the result of an insufficient supply of fiber. It’s recommended men get about 38 grams of fiber each day, with women getting about 25 grams.

Constantly Getting Sick

If you feel like you just can’t do anything to get to feeling healthy, it is time to re-evaluate your lifestyle choices. This should start with a careful examination of your diet, followed by a close look at your exercise regimen. Simply put, eating poorly and failing to get sufficient exercise can have hugely negative consequences for the body and particularly its immune system.

Wounds Heal Slowly

If it seems like your body is in slow motion when it comes to healing minor cuts and bruises, it’s possible you’re not getting the nutrients your body needs to fight these problems. If this is a problem for you, try to eat less high-calorie, high-fat foods that lack essential fatty acids and important vitamins, from vitamin A and B12 to vitamin C. Be sure that the foods you’re eating aren’t just empty calories that offer your body nothing it can use to heal wounds. Increasing your consumption of protein will also help.

Foggy Brain

If you find yourself struggling to answer really simple questions and can’t figure out why, it could simply be a lack of sleep or preoccupation with another, more important life matter. Or, you could be damaging your body and it’s trying to warn you that things just aren’t right. Foggy memory and struggles with concentrating are actually two major signs that the body isn’t getting the nutrition it needs. Like the other parts of the body (including the heart, lungs, and intestines) the brain needs certain nutrients, like omega-3 fatty acids, to function at its best.

When most of us think of malnutrition, we think of stick thin children with distended bellies. We almost never consider that one who is obese could possibly be suffering from malnutrition too. I remember the first time I ever heard of this, it was about 23 years ago. One of my family members was obese and not feeling well. He went to his doctor who asked him what he eats on a daily basis. His reply was pizza, beer, pickled eggs and hotdogs. He weighed about 300 pounds and because of this unhealthy diet, he was also severely malnourished. Never for a minute think that just because your belly is full, that is good enough.

It is not enough.

Make the choice today, make a difference in your health and begin eating a nutritionally dense, low calorie diet of whole foods that contain no added sugar, unhealthy fats or too large amounts of sodium or preservatives. We have over 750 articles and healthy recipes here at David’s Way to Health and FItness to help you with a new lifestyle. You have the power to make a positive change if only you first choose to do so.

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