Obesity is a chronic and life threatening disease where a person has excessive body fat that leads to serious health complications.
The most widely used method for measuring a person’s health concerning their weight is the Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is a measurement of an individual’s body fat based on their weight and height. BMI does not distinguish between muscle mass and body fat. Therefore, people with a lot of muscle tend to have a high BMI even though they are not overweight or obese.
BMI is calculated as follows:
BMI = weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703
The calculations for weight can also be done in pounds and feet and inches for height. The standard BMI classifications are as follows:
- Underweight <19 Ideal BMI
- 19-25 Overweight 25-30
- Obese >30
- Severely Obese >35
- Morbidly Obese >40
- Super Obese >50
This BMI method works for most people as an indication of whether they are healthy, underweight, overweight or obese.
An additional measure is the amount of excess fat that is deposited around the waist circumference. Typically fat that is stored around the buttocks and hips is not a predominantly high-risk factor as compared to excess waist fat.
On average, men who have a waist circumference of 37 inches or more and women with a waist circumference of 31.5 inches or more are at a greater risk of developing obesity-related health complications.
Morbid obesity is a serious health condition whereby an individual has a BMI of over 40 or is 100 pounds over their ideal body weight. This state of health can seriously interfere with normal body functions such as walking and breathing.
Individuals who are morbidly obese are also at a greater risk of developing obesity-related health complications such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea, diabetes, heart disease, gall stones, osteoarthritis, and cancer.
Individuals who are morbidly obese are also at a greater risk of developing obesity-related health complications such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea, diabetes, heart disease, gallstones, osteoarthritis, and cancer.
BMI can be influenced by your ethnic background. Most individuals with a Caucasian background are typically at a greater risk of being obese or overweight than those who are from an ethnic minority background.
BMI method is ideally used for adults. It is not to be used in children as an indication of whether they have a healthy weight because children are still developing. To check whether your child is overweight, schedule a visit with your GP.
To diagnose if a person is overweight or obese, there are several factors that your physician inquiries on:
- Your lifestyle – This consists of your diet, how much physical activity you undertake, and whether you smoke or drink alcohol.
Possible underlying causes for obesity – You may be taking certain medication for a particular medical condition that contributes to significant weight gain.
- Your motivation to lose weight
- Your family history – There are some obesity-related health conditions such as diabetes that run through families.
Medical tests are also carried out to determine how at risk you are of developing health complications. These tests include blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar and waist circumference.
Latest Obesity Statistics:
- USA Obesity Statistics in 2017
- Canada’s Obesity Statistics in 2017
- Australia Obesity Statistics in 2017
- UK Obesity Statistics in 2017