Obesity is defined as having too much body fat. The body consists of water, fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. When there is too much fat, you are at higher risks for health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
When you are obese, you magnify your risk for heart disease. When there is excess body fat it raises your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It raises your blood pressure and can lead to diabetes. In some cases for people with diabetes, they have doubled their risks for a major heart attack or stroke.
Obesity is caused by having more calories consumed, than are burned with physical activity, whether from daily activity or exercise. When there is a great deal of calories consumed, with too much saturated fat and cholesterol, the levels of cholesterol in the blood rises. This increases the risks for heart disease.
How to Determine if you are Obese
Body fat is measured by waist circumference and by body mass index. The high-risk waistline is more than 35 inches for women and more than 40 inches for men.
The body mass index assesses the body weight in comparison to the height. It is a method to measure the body’s composition in correlation to the body fat. It is calculated by taking the body weight in pounds divided by the height in inches squared then multiplying it by 703.
The National Center for Health Statistics has the following levels for mass body index calculations:
- 18.5 is considered underweight.
- 18.5 – 24.9 is considered healthy.
- 25.0 to 29.9 is considered overweight. This is generally 10over the ideal body weight.
- 30.0 or greater is considered obese.
- Extreme obesity is defined as a body mass index of 40 or greater.
How to Reduce or Prevent Obesity
- Add physical activity to your daily routine. Adults need to have at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity three or four times a week. Children need to have at least 60 minutes the same amount of times a week.
- Reduce time watching television or sedentary activities including time on the computer or playing video games.
- Create opportunities for physical activity at work as well as home.
- Promote healthier choices of food serving five to nine servings of fruit and vegetables every day.
- Reduce the portions of the food consumed. Avoid “supersized” meals and value meals with larger portions.
Taking steps to avoid or reduce the chances of obesity has many benefits for everyone. The fact of living a healthy longer life is incentive to work on the weight issues leading to heart disease and other health related issues. Americans have the highest rate in the world for heart disease based on the amounts of people that are overweight.