How Can You Tell If You Are Obese or Just Overweight?

Being overweight or obese are two closely tied conditions of the body that have serious health implications. Obesity is the advanced stage of being overweight; and both obesity and overweight are the common type of malnutrition in advanced countries. While malnutrition in less developed countries result from inadequate quantity of food intake, in advanced countries, malnutrition results from taking excess calories and exercising less; daily exercise does not commensurate with the quantity of food that is being taken.

Causes of Overweight and Obesity

Overweight and obesity result from two distinct factors- genetic and lifestyle. Overweight and/or obesity can run in families such that almost every member of the family easily accumulates fat from the food he or she eats. Similarly, as mentioned earlier, eating foods that are high in fat and exercising less is a lifestyle that naturally leads to overweight and may advance to obesity.

Percentage Fat that Indicates Being Overweight and Obese

A person is said to be overweight when the body fat increases above the ideal by 1{15aeb35eec840799df247626cfa6821cb9499241e90aba7a245c8546144fd8f4} to 19{15aeb35eec840799df247626cfa6821cb9499241e90aba7a245c8546144fd8f4}. This means, a 1{15aeb35eec840799df247626cfa6821cb9499241e90aba7a245c8546144fd8f4} -19{15aeb35eec840799df247626cfa6821cb9499241e90aba7a245c8546144fd8f4} increment in your body weight beyond the desirable or ideal weight for you is a sign that you are being overweight. Consequently, obesity results when your body weight reaches 20{15aeb35eec840799df247626cfa6821cb9499241e90aba7a245c8546144fd8f4} or more above your desired or ideal body weight.

However, there are degrees of obesity- mild, moderate or gross. About 90{15aeb35eec840799df247626cfa6821cb9499241e90aba7a245c8546144fd8f4} of obese people have mild obesity which is between 20{15aeb35eec840799df247626cfa6821cb9499241e90aba7a245c8546144fd8f4} and 40{15aeb35eec840799df247626cfa6821cb9499241e90aba7a245c8546144fd8f4} above normal weight; 9{15aeb35eec840799df247626cfa6821cb9499241e90aba7a245c8546144fd8f4} have moderate obesity which is above 40{15aeb35eec840799df247626cfa6821cb9499241e90aba7a245c8546144fd8f4} but less than 100{15aeb35eec840799df247626cfa6821cb9499241e90aba7a245c8546144fd8f4} above the normal body weight; whereas about 1{15aeb35eec840799df247626cfa6821cb9499241e90aba7a245c8546144fd8f4} of obese people have gross obesity which is 100{15aeb35eec840799df247626cfa6821cb9499241e90aba7a245c8546144fd8f4} or more above the normal body weight.

What is the Ideal Body Weight?

A common method you can employ to determine your ideal body weight is your body mass index (BMI). A BMI of over 25 is overweight and over 29 is obesity

Other methods of determining your weight are waist/hip ratio, measuring of skin fold, hydrostatic weighing, electrical impedance etc. Yet, the most common and widely accepted method of determining being overweight or obese involves using the BMI. However, it is still used together with other methods e.g. waist circumference.

To conclude, the most basic solution to overweight and obesity is regular exercise and healthy eating habits. Once you detect that you are approaching overweight, you should begin to institute measures to stay fit.

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