Are You Overweight?

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Today 65% of the adult US citizens are battling with obesity, a condition which is very much in our hands to control. It is such a trend over which we all have control and can surely take it towards such a direction where our weight no more becomes an issue of concern for us. Studies show that people who are overweight or have obesity are more likely to suffer from the diseases like hypertension, high level of bad cholesterol (LDL), stroke, diabetes and the other disorders.

What is Overweight?
Overweight is a medical condition in which a person`s BMI(Body Mass Index- – a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women)falls within 25-29.9. Along with obesity overweight can also make a person victim of a range of disorders and as such this disorder should be avoided.

Check whether you are overweight or not?

You can calculate your healthy weight range by a simple calculation process. Your minimum healthy weight is determined by multiplying the square of your height (in meters) by 20. Your maximum healthy weight is determined by multiplying the same by 25. For example, if your height is 1.6 m, your minimum healthy weight would be 1.6 x 1.6 x 20 = 51.2kg, and your maximum healthy weight 1.6 x 1.6 x 25 = 64.0kg. This is just a tentative weight range because there may be some people who have exceptional body frame and for them this weight range may not be the ideal weight range.

Causes of Overweight

Obesity happens when a person consumes more calories than s/he burns. The reasons for this imbalance include genetic, environmental, psychological, and other factors.

  • The Genetic Factors – Obesity tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic cause. Yet families also share diet and lifestyle habits that may contribute to obesity. Separating these from genetic factors is often difficult. Even so, science shows that heredity is linked to obesity.
  • The Environmental Factors – Environment may also strongly influence obesity. This includes lifestyle habits such as diet and level of physical activity. The American culture tends to eat high-fat foods, and put taste and convenience ahead of nutrition. Also, most Americans do not get enough physical activity. In contradiction, Far East cultures pay enormous attention to nutrition and health food as a way of living, facts which definitely reduces the obesity problems in these areas of the world.
  • The Psychological Factors – Many people eat in response to negative emotions such as boredom, sadness or anger. Most overweighed people have no more psychological problems than people of average weight. However, up to 10% of the mildly obese people trying to lose weight have binge eating disorder. This disorder is even more common in people who are severely obese. During a binge eating episode, people feel they cannot control how much they are eating and eat large amounts of food. Those with the most severe binge eating problems are also likely to have symptoms of depression and low self-esteem.

Overweight Vs Obesity

Weight can be a very delicate issue for just anyone, be it over weight or under weight. Every person requires some minimum amount of body fat for the proper mechanism of the body but some people have higher amount of fat stored in the body than required which increases the health risks of these individuals making them susceptible to a range of health problems like type2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases etc.

“Overweight” is defined as an excess amount of body weight, including fat, muscle, bone and water. Overweight refers to the excess weight than known body standards. On the other hand “obesity” specifically refers to an excess amount of body fat. Some people, such as bodybuilders or other athletes with a lot of muscle, can also be overweight without being obese. Obesity according to the medical dictionaries is “abnormal amount of fat on the body . . . the term is not usually employed unless the person is 20 to 30% over average weight for his or her age, sex, and height.”

Overweight and BMI: The BMI stands for the body mass index. The BMI is basically the ratio of a person’s weight in kilograms and the square of his height in meters. If a person’s BMI lies in between 24-29.9 he can be termed as overweight and anything above 29.9 falls in the category of obesity. A BMI of 40 and above falls into the category of morbid obesity. As already mentioned the sportspersons, weight-lifters and body builders may fall under the category of being overweight because of their high muscle weight, whereas obese people have a high BMI because of their excess body fat stored in their body.

Risk of Overweight and Obesity: If a person is just a few pounds overweight it is not a matter of too much concern for him because it does not pose any health risk but an obese person has a high risk for a number of diseases like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, osteoarthritis etc..