Obesity is not a new problem. Anthropologists tell us that it is more than 20,000 years old and it was seen more in such societies where the society was quite affluent and the people had no threat from starvation.
In modern times, Obesity is just not a cosmetic problem or a simple problem of ‘looking good’. People tend to concentrate only on the physical appearance of an obese but what they tend to overlook is the health risks attached to obesity.
The most important question that many of us want to know about, is, why are certain people obese? There have been many researches made in this area but there have been no definite answers.
The most general or likelihood reasons for obesity are as follows:
Low metabolism rate, i.e. the rate of burning calories Lack of physical exercise
Low physical activity Genetic factors
Overeating Psychological problems
There are three ways to find out if your weight is posing a health risk for you or not.
BMI or Body Mass Index
Risk factors associated with the diseases and the conditions of obesity
Body Mass Index:
Body Mass Index calculates the body fat according to the relationship of weight and height. Body mass index is the ratio of a person’s weight to his height. According to the metric calculation the body mass index of a person is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of his height in meters. Alternatively, according to the English calculation, the weight of a person in pounds divided by his height in feet and inches tells the BMI of a person. The BMI scores tell the following about your weight status:
If your BMI is less than 18.5, you are UNDERWEIGHT
If your BMI is between 18.5 – 24.9, you are NORMAL
If your BMI is between 25.0 – 29.9, you are OVERWEIGHT
If your BMI is 30.0 and above, you are OBESE
The waist circumference of a person is also an indicator whether he is at risk of health hazards due to a high fat deposition or not. In order to check the waist circumference, you will just need to pet the measuring tape snugly around your waist and measure it. If the waist size is more than 40 inches for men and more than 35 inches for women then it means you fall under the high risk zone of diseases like type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardio-vascular diseases, arthritis, and other related diseases to obesity.
Other Risk Factors:
There are certain physical conditions which add to the risk of an obese person, hence these also need to be considered:
High blood pressure
High bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol)
Low good cholesterol ( HDL cholesterol)
High blood sugar
Family history of premature heart disease
For people whose BMI is greater than 30 or whose BMI lie between 25.0 – 29.9, and have more than two of the above risk factors, need to reduce their weight. Even a reduction of merely 10% weight can reduce their risks of having these diseases.
People who are just overweight and they have a low waist measurement and have any of the two risk factors need to see that they take measures so as to stop their weight from increasing further, rather than decreasing their weight.