Obesity and Overweight Information
Obesity and Overweight
What is Obesity?
"Overweight" is defined as an excess amount of body weight, including muscle and bone as well as body fat. "Obesity" is defined as an excess amount of body fat.
Seriously Overweight May Not Mean Obesity
Although most people WILL be obese if they are seriously overweight, there are exceptions. For instance, the body weight of muscular athletes is likely to exceed normal weight levels considerably. But the amount of body fat they have may be less than normal. So while they are overweight, they won't be obese.
Obesity and Health
A "healthy weight" is simply a weight RANGE that is statistically related to good health. To say someone is overweight or obese means that their weight falls into a weight category that is associated with higher risk of (e.g.) heart disease and hypertension.
Obesity and Healthy Weight
Doctors and health care experts assess healthy weight in three ways.
Use this chart to see the approx point at which you become obese for your height.
Obesity Chart Readings
If you are close to the obesity point for your height, you should definitely consider losing weight, especially if your weight is on the rise. As a first step, please consult your doctor.
Fat Acceptance versus Obesity and Ill-Health
Being seriously overweight is not a crime, a sin, or a sign of social inferiority. It is a physical condition which carries a number of health risks. You are strongly advised not to accept these risks and instead to consult your doctor.
Consequences of Obesity
In general, the more you exceed your obesity point, the greater the health risk. In addition, the higher your proportion of fat to muscle, the greater the risk.
Waist to Hip Ratio and Fat Distribution
If you divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement you can find out your waist-to-hip ratio. If it is over 0.8 in a woman or 0.95 in a man there is a higher risk of weight-related health problems due to unhealthy fat distribution.
Fat Distribution, Intra-Abdominal Fat and Obesity
Recent evidence suggests that WHERE you carry body fat is almost as important as HOW MUCH fat you have. If you are obese and carry excess fat around your middle (intra-abdominal fat), your risk of ill-health is significantly greater than if this fat was on your lower half.
Obesity and Health Problems
Being obese significantly increases your risk of the following:
Causes of Obesity
What causes obesity is not yet fully understood. Hereditary factors (especially on the mother's side), hormones, domestic environment, eating habits and general lifestyle all play a part. See also Causes of Obesity
Solutions for Obesity
Advances in genetic research may yet provide a new generation of drugs to combat obesity. Bariatric gastrointestinal surgery also has a part to play. However, it is most unlikely that drugs or surgery alone will solve the problem. For the foreseeable future, healthy diet and exercise will continue to be an essential part of any treatment program.
A Practical Approach to Obesity
1. Be positive
3. Learn about food
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