What is Obesity?
Obesity is one term that we frequently hear, it is a problem that has affected people all over the world of all ages. A basic definition of obesity is being overweight that is having extra body fat than needed. This extra fat can cause a risk to the person’s health. The major reason behind obesity is the lifestyle of a person, which includes excess consumption of fast food and other fatty food and lack of physical exercise.
How to find out if you are obese?
There are many ways to find out if you are underweight, healthy, overweight, or obese. The easiest and most popular way to find this out is BMI. BMI that is Body Mass Index is a calculation method where the ratio of the weight of a person is compared to his/her height squared. The BMI measurement doesn’t help identify the weight status of tall people as taller people tend to weigh more due to more tissues present in their bodies than the shorter people. But this doesn’t make them overweight. Also, the same concept applies to athletes. But for the rest of the individuals, BMI can be very helpful to find out the weight status. It is very easy to calculate BMI, you can do it manually or use an online BMI calculator. The formula to calculate BMI is
BMI = Weight (kg) / Height Square (m)
Once you calculate your BMI, you can refer to the following chart to find the category your weight belongs to.
BMI WEIGHT STATUS
Underweight Below 18.5
Healthy 18.5 – 24.9
Overweight 25.0 – 29.9
Obesity 30.0 and Above
Obesity and health risks associated with it
Being overweight means an increase in body fat. There are many factors that can put you at high risk if the BMI is increased like:
- Low HDL cholesterol ( good cholesterol )
- High LDL cholesterol ( bad cholesterol )
- High blood pressure
- High Triglycerides
- High blood glucose that is sugar
- Physical inactiveness
- Family history of Heart disease
High BMI means extra fat, which means a high risk of the following health conditions:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease
- Gallbladder diseases
- Respiratory issues and sleep apnea
- Psychological stress
How does BMI help doctors?
BMI is a diagnostic tool used to find the weight status of an individual, that is, weight and risks associated with it. In case of significantly high or low BMI, the doctor performs the following steps to understand the potential risks associated with the person’s health condition.
- Evaluation of eating habits and physical activity
- Family history to know the risk of cardiovascular and other health issues
- Skinfold thickness measurements to find out fat present in the body of the individual
- Other required health screening tests.
Calculating BMI can help you know your weight status, but it is recommended to contact your doctor and discuss it to decide the further steps. Maintaining a healthy weight is very crucial as it has various benefits like increased energy, less muscle pains, better sleep patterns, better blood pressure and less risk to heart diseases. Not just that, but having a healthy weight also means having less risk in case you get infected in the pandemic.