What is Obesity

Obesity is a standard medical term that is defined by having excess body fat above your ideal weight. Having excess body weight puts you at additional risk for a myriad of health problems, including cardiovascular health, diabetes, hypertension, and sleep apnea. Obesity rates have steadily risen over the last few decades and have become a worldwide pandemic. These days people are consuming much more calories than they used to. With the arrival of several gadgets like television, video games, washing machine and many other modern devices, most of the people are living a sedentary life, in comparison to their grandparents.

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Obesity

Body Mass Index (BMI)

The standard measuring tool for obesity is the body mass index (BMI). To calculate the BMI, you divide the weight (in kilograms) by the height in meters squared. Both men and women are calculated equally over this index. A BMI between 19 and 24.9 is considered a healthy weight. Overweight is defined by BMI between 25 and 29.9. A BMI of 30 or above is considered obese. Your predisposition for health problems drastically increase as your BMI climbs above 30. A BMI of greater than 40 is considered morbid obesity, which puts your health at a much greater risk. Calculating your BMI is a good place to start to determine necessary weight loss and to supplement lifestyle and exercise changes.

Waist Circumference

Apart from BMI, waist circumference is also calculated for obesity. To calculate the circumference, you simply take a measuring tape to measure the widest area above your pelvis and below your rib cage. In this calculation, men and women are classified separately. For females, a circumference of greater than 35 inches is considered unhealthy. For males, a circumference in excess of 40 is defined as unhealthy. Although the waist circumference is not a standard tool as the BMI, it is an accurate indicator of excess weight and an unhealthy body. The most common way to lower your waist circumference is to supplement a weight loss plan with exercise and dietary changes.

Understanding Obesity

Not only obese people are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea, but obesity makes life more difficult to be active. For every pound above a normal weight, there is three pounds of pressure placed on joints. That means exercising and staying active is not only harder because of decreased energy, it is physically taxing on the human body. Obesity is not only a health concern, but also a quality of life issue. Weight loss is paramount in alleviating and treating these factors.

Your Health Care Provider

Your health care provider can explain the dangers of obesity and help you start a weight loss plan. Providers can offer guidance and advice on how to supplement an exercise plan, a healthy nutritional diet, and lifestyle changes. Providers can also give more insight to personal health risk factors and explain genetic predispositions to disease. A thorough health evaluation is advised before starting any exercise plan. Your doctor may recommend a vitamin supplement regimen if you have a poor nutritional diet.

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