What Is Obesity?
Obesity is a medical condition characterized by excessive fat accumulation. The rates in cases of obesity have been on a steady rise in the United States, and as a result we have more people suffering from chronic illnesses than ever before. A lot of the common ailments plaguing our communities today could be prevented and treated with practicing healthier lifestyle choices, such as, proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and regular exercise.
National health organizations tend to use the BMI to define whether a person is overweight or obese. The Body Mass Index (BMI) is the numerical value of your weight in relation to your height. There has been some speculation regarding the efficiency and accuracy of the BMI, however it still remains the standard Today.
Alright, we’re gonna breakdown the BMI recommendations across various age groups, as well as, discuss how to calculate your BMI.
Breakdown of BMI Recommendations
Obese is a BMI greater than or equal to 30.
Overweight is a BMI greater than or equal to 25; and
Children Under 5 years Old
Overweight is weight-for-height greater than 2 standard deviations above WHO Child Growth Standards median.
Obesity is weight-for-height greater than 3 standard deviations above WHO Child Growth Standards median.
|18.5 – 24.9||Healthy Weight|
|25.0 – 29.9||Overweight|
|30.0 and Above||Obesity|
Children aged between 5 and 19 years old
Overweight is weight-for-height greater than 1 standard deviations above WHO Child Growth Reference median.
Obesity is weight-for-height greater than 2 standard deviations above WHO Child Growth Reference median.
How is BMI Calculate?
|Measurement Units||Formula and Calculations|
|Pounds and Inches||Formula|
weight(lb) x [height(in)]2 x 703
Calculate the BMI by first dividing body weight in pounds by height in inches squared and then multiplying by a conversion factor of 703.
|Kilograms and meters/centimeters||Formula|
weight(kg) x [height(m)]2
Calculate the BMI by first dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared.
Hieght is commonly measured in centimeters, so in order to get obtain height in meters, divide height in centimeters by 100.
Concerns with BMI
There have been a few concerns raised over the years in regards to the accuracy of using the BMI. Some of those concerns include,
The Obesity Epidemic
Worldwide obesity has tripled since 1975. In 2016 alone, more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight and obese. In fact, most if the world’s population live in countries, where being overweight and obesity takes more lives than being underweight.
In the United States alone, over 70% of adults are overweight or obese. These are staggering statistics and there remains an influx of advertisements promoting fast foods, and processed foods to adults and children, adding to the enormous issue at hand.
It’s not just adults suffering from this health crisis, children are also being affected at rapidly increasing rates. In 2016, over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese, and in 2020, 39 million children under the age of 5 were obese.
Can you imagine the health implications of being obese at 5 years old. My heart goes out to those 39 million children. The fault lies not with them, but with the parents and with various systems we have put in place that are promoting unhealthy and toxic lifestyle habits to our us and our youth.
Something must be done to stop this from continuing. What I see as the common thread among those suffering from being overweight or obese is simply a lack of education or knowledge on how to go about living a healthier lifestyle.
The Effects of Obesity
Obesity causes many health concerns and is a cotributing factor to quite a few chronic illnesses.
Fighting obesity comes down to changing our lifestyle habits and educating ourselves.
In the United States of America, the sedentary lifestyle has become increasingly prevalent amongst youth and adults. This increased lack of physical activity has helped contribute to the drastic increase in obesity rates.
When we follow these simple guidelines, we can get to a healthy weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
It all comes down to following these simple steps.
To prevent obesity, we must focus on educating individuals on what proper nutrition is and how to implement it in their daily lives regardless of socioeconomic status. This education needs to begin in early childhood development so that these healthy habits become routine and normalized.
On an individual level there are strategies we can implement in order to prevent overweight and obesity.
Strategies to prevent obesity.
On a communal level, there are also strategies that can be implemented in order to prevent overweight and obesity.