With obesity at historic highs, one might assume that most people are obese. It’s true that one in three people are obese. However, there’s a vast difference between obese and overweight. Let’s explore the basics.
How is Obesity Defined?
Obesity can be defined a few ways. Some physicians look strictly at weight. Others take a look at the percentage of body fat a person has. For example, if someone has more than 30% body fat then they’re considered obese. This means that 30% of their body is actually fat, not muscle, bone, blood or other tissue.
However, the most commonly used form to define obesity is a BMI calculation. It’s a simple equation that essentially compares weight to height. If a person has a BMI or Body Mass Index of 30 or more then they’re considered obese. IF they have a BMI of 40 or more then they’re considered morbidly obese.
Yet, if they have a BMI of 25-29 then they’re considered overweight.
You might be surprised to know that more than 30% of the country is overweight. This coupled with the 30% obesity rate means that more than sixty percent of the population is overweight or obese. Two out of every three people are carrying more weight than is healthy for their body.
According to the World Health Organization one billion people are overweight or obese globally. This number has doubled in the past few decades.
What’s Causing This Increase?
Our lives are changing. Access to food is quick and easy now. And it’s cheap. Stop by any fast food restaurant and you can fill your belly for just a few dollars. Unfortunately, those few dollars add a lot of sugar, sodium and fat to your body. One fast food stop can provide all of the calories and fat you need for the entire day.
However, most people don’t eat just once a day. That means they’re consuming more calories than they’re burning. It only takes an extra hundred calories a day to cause you to gain a pound a month. And as the numbers show, most people are consuming more than an extra hundred calories a day.
Couple this intake of high calorie food and beverages with an inactive lifestyle and you have a recipe for weight gain.
True, diet and fitness levels aren’t the only causes of obesity. However, they are the primary causes. While scientists agree that some people can be genetically predisposed to obesity. Diet and exercise still control weight. Medications, mental and physical health issues also contribute to obesity. Add it all up and it’s easy to see why more than half of the country and much of the world is overweight.
There is a Solution.
Regardless of the factors causing obesity there are two things a person can do to improve their health. Get active. Change your eating habits. It’s not easy. Many lifestyle changes have to be made. However, your health is at risk if you’re overweight or obese. In fact, your life is at risk. Take control of your life today. Start taking steps to get healthy.