We live in a world where good health is usually equated with a certain kind of appearance. Instagrammers with thigh gaps are held up as exemplars of wellness. “Health” magazines publish cover lines about flat stomachs and getting lean. Reality TV shows celebrate punishing, unsustainable weight loss programs.
Yes, some healthy people have flat abs and thigh gaps and thin bodies. But that doesn’t mean these qualities are necessary for good health.
In fact, the official definition of health – at least, the one used by the World Health Organization (WHO) – says nothing about the way you look. WHO says health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
How can you tell if you fit that definition? That’s a question best answered by your personal healthcare provider, who’s equipped to evaluate every aspect of your wellbeing. But there are some general signs that indicate good health for most people – and INSIDER spoke with a doctor and a dietitian to learn more about them.