Body Size and Eating Habits

Ask the Raffles Medical Group Experts


I love to eat deep-fried food. As I am rather skinny, people around me often tell me that it is alright for me to indulge in unhealthy food. Is this true? Is it possible for a bigger-sized girl to have a lower body fat content and cholesterol level compared to a skinny girl? Is the disparity in weight purely due to differences in metabolism rates?


It is known that fat within the abdomen (visceral fat) is associated with cardiovascular risk factor such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. These can lead to heart attack and stroke.

For the girl with a normal weight, it is important that she remains active and continues to lead a healthy lifestyle by eating healthily and exercise regularly. If she has an unhealthy diet, she can still be at risk of the cardiovascular risk factors mentioned earlier.

It is possible for an overweight person to have a relatively low body fat content than a normal weight or thin person, though this is unusual. With regard to cholesterol level, it is not uncommon for this apparent anomaly to occur.

A person’s weight is determined both by genetics and environment. Even if someone has a genetic predisposition to becoming overweight, healthy lifestyle can overcome the genetic influence. Therefore, a person who has overweight family members can still maintain a normal weight by adhering to a healthy lifestyle. Basal metabolic rate is an estimated amount of calories one needs in order to maintain one’s current weight. It can be derived from an equation using the variables of height, weight, age and gender.