Two Screening Tools to Know You are Obese or Not
Unconsciously, our current environment is letting us to get anything easier. We can consume any foods we want, we can go anywhere faster, we can reduce any physical job, and more. But, do you know that those easiness lead into something bad, an unhealthy lifestyle. Later on, those unhealthy lifestyles lead us to gain weight easily, obesity and the worst is serious health problems that linked to it.
What is Obesity?
According to WHO, overweight as well as obesity are defined as the accumulation of excessive fat in human body over the normal range that linked to a higher risk of health problems. There is an indicator to estimate whether your weight-for-height is categorized as underweight, normal, overweight or obesity called Body Mass Index (BMI). Someone is categorized as overweight or obese if his/her BMI is higher than the normal range (18.5 to 24.9). Not only in developed country, but there is a dramatically increased number of obesity in lower and middle income countries that lead into the increased mortality numbers, especially in the urban areas. This is the reason why obesity has been a big health concern globally.
The Causes of Obesity
Overweight as well as obesity are occurred because the imbalance between calories intake from foods and calories expended. It can be happened due to some factors, including:
– Unhealthy behaviors include high consumption of high-calories foods, low consumption of healthy foods, physical inactivity, and other unhealthy lifestyles.
– Unsupportive environment and community, for example you are living in a family who love snacking so you get influence to do the same. Or your works requires you to sit in front of computer for hours, so you lack in exercises or other physical activities. Or there are no appropriate sidewalks or bike lines, so you use motorbike or car to go to nearby store or other places.
– Genetic factors where obesity genes can be inherited in the family although this factor still need a further study.
– Taking some specific drugs that can cause overweight such as steroids and some type of antidepressants.
– Suffer from some illnesses that cause weight gain such as Cushing’s disease and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Problems Linked to Obesity
The worse thing of overweight as well as obesity is the higher risks of suffering from:
– Physical diseases include breathing difficulties, body pain and difficulties, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, asthma, prone to fractures, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, osteoarthritis, some cancers, and the worst is death.
– Psychological diseases include anxiety, depression, social discrimination, and other mental illness.
Are You Obese or Not?
Someone can be diagnosed to suffer from obesity by measuring his/her weight. There are two screening tools to estimate weight status that may influence and followed by several potential health diseases, including Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference.
1. Body Mass Index (BMI)
Body Mass Index (BMI) is an index that measured by dividing weight (in kilograms) by the square of height (in meters) or kg/m2. If the indicator showed a low BMI number means underweight, while a high BMI means overweight to obesity. BMI is only used as a screening tool but not for diagnose body fatness or overall health of individual.
So, what BMI is obese? You can look at these categories:
– BMI is less than 18.5 = underweight
– BMI is 18.5 to 24.9 = normal or healthy weight
– BMI is 25.0 – 29.9 = overweight
– BMI is equal or higher than 30 = obesity
If we look at the list above, we can conclude that people who have higher BMI from normal or healthy weight range categorized as overweight or obesity. Precisely, for those who have BMI that equal or higher than 30 are categorized in obese range.
How to measure my BMI?
Rather than calculate it manually, you can simply use online BMI calculator that can used for free for clinicians or public users, for example BMI calculator in U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. This calculator is calculated the same way for adults and children both sexes. The calculation is based measurement of weight and height by:
– Select you want to use English or metric measurement. English formula use feet-inches and pounds, while metric use meters and kilograms with more accurate measurement.
– Enter the number of your weight and height in the appropriate box.
– Click “calculate” and you will get the information including your BMI status, your appropriate weight range, and some health advices.
2. Waist circumference
The second screening tool is waist circumference. By measuring your waistline, you can check how much fat in your abdominal. Someone with wider waistline means has excessive abdominal fat which can be lead into serious obesity related illnesses including high blood pressure, hearth diseases, diabetes, and others. The estimation for those with obesity if they are:
– having more than 40 inches waist circumferences for men
– having more than 35 inches waist circumferences for non-pregnant women
To measure your waistline, you need to use a tape measure around your middle abdomen (or right above the hipbones). Ensure that the tape is in horizontal position and keep it snugs around your waist, but not compressing your skin. Do this waist measurement while standing and after breathing out to get a precise number. Works like BMI, waist circumference is also only used as screening not diagnostic tools of fatness or health. So, you need to check your condition to doctor or other healthcare provider to perform more appropriate health assessments.
Obesity has been developed as a new epidemic worldwide in the current 21st century. According to the data of WHO in 2014, more than 1.9 billion of adults were overweight and more than 600 million of them were obese. It was followed by the increasing number of mortality caused by serious diseases related to obesity. These shocking numbers show that there is an urgent need for people to change their current unhealthy lifestyle to fight and prevent obesity as early as possible.