Some are under the assumption that being thin means being healthy. People who haven’t a clue of what an artery looks like are quick to tell an overweight person they have clogged arteries and are at higher risk for heart disease. While this may be true in some cases, a person’s weight isn’t the only indicator of their health status.
“I often come across those who are thin and they have internal digestive imbalances, insomnia, anxiety/depression, and other conditions,” says Dr. De’Nicea Hilton, DOM, of Hilton Holistic Health.
Dr. Hilton, a doctor of oriental medicine, says when it comes to assessing someone’s health, the real signs are in the mouth, ear, and tongue.
“Personally, seeing selfies of tongues sticking out are fascinating [to me] as the organs are represented on the tongue,” says Dr. Hilton.
Many practitioners evaluate the mouth, ear, and tongue to determine which organ (and its channel imbalances) may be causing certain symptoms:
- A dark spot in the area between the eyes, along the bridge of the nose, could be a blood sugar imbalance
- Lines along the sides of the mouth could mean constipation issues
- A line in the ear lobe or crease in the tip of the nose could be a potential concern for heart disease
- Whiteness in the cheekbone area may be a sign of respiratory issues
The same goes for those who are fit, or muscular. It is nearly impossible to tell that they are healthy based on appearance alone. Dr. Hilton says these muscular physiques can be achieved at the cost of an internal disease.
The more common health issue for those with “buff” bodies is mental illness. While some may exercise regularly because they truly enjoy it, others may be using exercise as a coping mechanism or to avoid dealing with personal issues.
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“I consider mental health as part of being “healthy” as well. The constant concern about a physical look is cause for me to look deeper. [Is there a] potential history of bullying? [Are they] using exercise to avoid dealing with personal issues, such as avoiding drinking or constant pressure or work stress?” explains Dr. Hilton.
Perhaps the biggest reason to avoid critiquing larger body types over smaller body types is because we never truly know