Obesity

Obesity is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in the United States, and is growing globally.  Obesity is a leading cause of mortality, morbidity, disability, healthcare use and healthcare cost in the United States, and it continues to increase in prevalence each year.  New strategies and a sustained approach are desperately needed to treat and prevent this disease.

 

The medical profession uses several methods to determine the degree of obesity, including Body Mass Index (BMI), Waist Circumference, Hip to Waist Ratio and Body Fat Percentage.

 

 

BMI Table:

 

 

Below 18.5

Underweight

18.5-24.9

Normal Weight

24.5-29.9

Overweight

30 and greater

Obese

40 and greater

Morbid or extreme obesity

 

 

Waist Circumference:

 

 

Waist circumference is another measurement to help determine abdominal fat content and risk for associated diseases.  Excess abdominal fat, when out of proportion to total body fat, is considered a predictor of risk factors related to obesity. Men with a waist measurement exceeding 40 inches are considered at risk. Women are at risk with a waist measurement of 35 inches or greater.

 

 

Body Fat:

 

 

 

Women

Men

Required Fat for Function

10-12%

2-4%

Athletes

14-20%

6-13%

Fitness

21-24%

14-17%

Acceptable/Healthy

25-31%

18-25%

Obese

32% plus

26% plus

 

 

Waist to Hip Ratio (WHR):

 

 

The WHR is also used as a method for measuring risk for serious health conditions.  Research notes that individuals with more weight around the waist are at increased risk for disease compare to individuals that care more weight around the hips. 

 

The World Health Organization states that waist line obesity is defined as a WHR above 0.90 for med and 0.85 for women.




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