OBESITY AND OVERWEIGHT – Know your stand
“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness” – Joseph Pilates.
It is a common myth that obesity can only be seen in people who eat much, and people of certain social statuses. Obesity however can be very tricky in it’s outplay.
It is determined by an individual’s Body Mass Index (BMI)
The BMI is a measurement gotten when the body mass of an individual is divided by the square of the height. This is a checkup you should do often.
How to Calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI)
You can calculate your BMI by following the steps below:
- Check your body mass (what is usually referred to as weight) and record it in Kilograms
- Check your height in metres.
Some metre rules used to determine the height of individuals are usually in centimeters.
You can convert this to metres by simply dividing the value by 100.
For instance, if I have a height of 162cm, my height in metres will be
- Square the value you have gotten from your height
Using the same example above, the derived height will be
- If I have a body mass/weight of 60Kg, I can calculate my BMI from the values I have derived above by using the method below:
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This means that using the above values, I have a BMI of 22.9Kg/M2 (Kg/M2 is the unit of BMI)
After deriving your BMI, compare against a standard range. This tells you where you stand, and what you may have to do. The reference is given below
- BMI less than 18.5 Kg/M2 is underweight
- BMI between 18.5 – 24.5 Kg/M2 is normal
- BMI between 24.6 – 29.9 Kg/M2 is overweight
- BMI greater than 30 Kg /M2 is obese
If your BMI exceeds 30, it means you are obese and you may have to start working on your weight; whether you look obese or not.
Obesity is also in grades based on how high the Body Mass Index is.
- For Grade 1 obesity – The BMI is between 0 and 34.9 Kg/M2
- In grade 2 obesity, the BMI is between 0 and 39.9 Kg/M2
- Once BMI exceeds 39.9 Kg/M2 it is referred to as morbid obesity. This means that such an individual has very reduced chances of survival.
WHAT CAN MAKE ONE OBESE?
Several factors are responsible for obesity, some of the common ones include:
- Genetic factors: For some people, and in some locations, there already is a predisposition to obesity.
If your parent or relative is obese, you have a higher chance of getting obese.
- Diet: If you foods that are processed, foods that contain too much fat very often, it’ll be advisable to curtail your food intake, as you are at risk of getting obese; especially if you are already predisposed genetically.
- Lifestyle: People, who live a sedentary lifestyle i.e. those who do little or no exercises, go to few or no places at all are very predisposed to obesity.
This is because our body system uses up most of the food we eat when we do exercises and move about, leaving little or no room for them to be stored or accumulate.
- Age: The older you become, the higher your chances of becoming obese.
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WHY IS OBESITY NOT GOOD?
There are many reasons you must maintain a healthy BMI. The first being that once someone gets obese, there is a chance that obesity will progress and lead to the life-threatening stage.
Obesity also predisposes a person to several health challenges such as:
- Diabetes (Usually characterized by increased blood sugar levels)
- Hypertension (High blood pressure)
- Respiratory failure
- Heart failure etc.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE ALREADY OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE
The simple thing to do is exercise more, and regulate your diet. Take note of the following points as well:
- Eat foods that contain more proteins than carbohydrates and fats. This is because proteins are not stored up in the body; but carbohydrates and fats especially, can be stored up for over long periods of time and increase chances of obesity
- Do more and regular exercises. Be consistent and intentional about your daily exercises.
Get a chart if possible, and monitor your progress.
It is important to note that some diseases and drugs may increase your appetite, hence increase your chances of weight gain. In such cases, you will need to inform your doctor about your diet plans and discuss the way forward.
Live healthy, live happily!