According to the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity is a disease in which excess of body fat accumulated presents a health risk. However, the amount of fat accumulated and its distribution in the body, as well as the associated health problems vary considerably between obese individuals. (1)World Health Organization (WHO). BMI classification. Available here.
The Body Mass Index (BMI) provides the most useful population-level measure of obesity. According to this index, an adult is considered obese if they have a BMI greater than or equal to 30 kg/m2.
Please note that this measurement is just a general indication and doesn’t take into account various factors such as ethnicity, age, bone or muscle mass which may influence the result. (read more..)
Additionally, since the body suffers extensive changes during childhood and adolescence, for these groups, obese is defined according to the WHO growth reference for school-aged children and adolescents (2)World Health Organization (WHO). Physical status: the use and interpretation of anthropometry. Available here..
There are other measuring tools to the determine obesity, although less commonly used, such as:
- Waist circumference;
- Underwater weighing;
- Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), and others.
United States leads in obesity epidemic among the developed countries. The following two articles reveal some alarming obesity statistics across the world and within United States:
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