Your doctor will determine if you are obese or not by assessing your Body Mass Index (BMI). Your doctor will use your height and your weight in order to come up with your BMI.
The BMI categories are as follows:
· If your BMI is 18.5 or under you are underweight
· If your BMI is 18.5 to 24.9 you are of normal weight
· If your BMI is between 25 and 29.9 you are overweight
· If your BMI is 30 or greater you are obese
The importance of your waist circumference:
Another measurement of your abdominal fat content is your waist circumference. If you have excessive abdominal fat and if it is out of proportion to your total body fat this could be an indicator of possible risk factors related to obesity. If you are male and your waist measurement exceeds 40 inches you are considered to be at risk and if you are a female and your waist measurement is 35 inches or greater you are considered to be at risk.
Statistically approximately 31% of American adults qualify as obese.
Obesity in the United States and Europe has reached epidemic proportions. Children are especially at risk for health problems when they are obese. Obesity occurs when you eat more calories than the calories that you burn off through physical activity. There is a huge cost to society both indirect and direct including 36% higher annual health care costs in the U.S.
Eating too much and not exercising enough are not the only causes of obesity. Genetics is one possible cause for obesity. There are genes that are responsible for controlling appetite and also for metabolism certain of these genes are thought to lead to obesity especially when linked with certain environmental conditions.
There are also certain genetic disorders that can lead to obesity including Prader-Willi syndrome, which is a genetic disorder in which those who have it have an insatiable appetite, and accumulate excessive fat in the central region of the body. Hypothyroidism also leads to obesity when combined with specific environmental conditions. Certain medications can also lead to obesity.
Certain eating disorders such as binge eating can also lead to obesity. Moving from one diet program or plan to another can also lead to obesity because diet plans usually do not work and when they fail the individual usually gains the weight back and then some. This dieting cycle over time generally results in additional weight gain with each new diet plan until eventually the weight gain is noticeably significant.
Weight gain can come from more than one cause and can even take several years of gradual gain to build up to being overweight or obese if the trend does not stop.