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What is overweight or obesity?


Overweight occurs, when over a long period of time more energy is consumed in the diet than your body needs. The surplus energy is stored as fat. Overweight and obesity are serious health problems! They are counted as chronic diseases. The longer one is overweight, the more harmful it is. So if children are already suffering from overweight and become fat adults, they have a high risk of suffering from various diseases.

Body weight is always seen as dependent on the body size. From these two quantities, a special weight index can be calculated – the Body Mass Index (BMI). With its help, you can read from weight curves, how the weight of a person is classified. The BMI is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat. It is important to remember that although BMI correlates with the amount of body fat, BMI does not directly measure it.

As a result, some people, such as athletes, may have a BMI that identifies them as overweight even though they do not have excess body fat, but perhaps more muscle mass. The BMI can therefore only provide a general guideline and should not be used as an absolute value.

Here the way how the BMI is calculated

The metric system is used to calculate the BMI. To get your BMI and the corresponding British measures and weights have a look at the BMI chart.

For adults it is recommended to try to maintain a BMI in the range 18.5 – 25.

You are overweight with a BMI between 26 and 30, with the BMI value higher than 30 you are obese.

BMI < 18underweight
BMI 18 – 25normal
BMI 26 – 30overweight
BMI > 30obesity

Calculation sample:  a body weight of 60kg (9st 6lb) and a body height of 1,65m (5´5´´) results in a BMI of 22.2. This is very good in the recommended BMI range.

The BMI for children is calculated the same way. Only the normal values ​​of BMI are different in children than in adults.

In my opinion the BMI depends on the age group you are in as well. For people over 55 years of age the normal range BMI should be expended up to 26.

Regardless of your height or BMI, you should try to lose weight if your waist is:

  • 94cm (37ins) or more for men
  • 80cm (31.5ins) or more for women
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Author: Ute Klingler

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