Weight Control Infocenter
Obesity and Weight Loss Explained
by Bridget Mwape
What is Obesity?
Obesity means an excessively high
proportion of body fat. Overweight refers to an excess of body weight,
but not necessarily body fat. Health professionals use a measurement
called body mass index (BMI) to classify an adult's weight as healthy,
overweight, or obese. BMI describes body weight relative to height and
is correlated with total body fat content in most adults. Generally, the
higher your BMI, the higher your health risk, and the risk increases
even further if your waist size is greater than 40 inches for men or 35
inches for women.
People who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop heart
disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, gallbladder disease, and
joint pain caused by excess uric acid (gout). Excess weight can also
cause interrupted breathing during sleep and wearing away of the joints
(osteoarthritis). Carrying extra weight means carrying an extra risk for
certain types of cancer, including endometrial, breast, prostate, and
Most overweight people should lose weight
gradually. Sometimes, people with serious health problems associated
with obesity may have legitimate reasons for losing weight rapidly. If
so, a physician's supervision is required. Experts recommend that people
who are overweight or obese should concentrate on engaging in regular
physical activity and maintaining healthy eating habits.
See your doctor for advice about your overall health risk and the weight
loss options that are best for you. Together, decide whether you should
go on a moderate diet or whether other options might be appropriate.
Check with your doctor and make sure that your health status allows
lowering your caloric intake and increasing your physical activity.
Successful weight loss and healthy weight management depend on sensible
goals and expectations. Doctors, dieticians, and other experts agree
that the best way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories and increase
your physical activity. Follow a calorie-reduced balanced diet that
provides for 1-2 pounds of weight loss a week. Be sure to include at
least five servings a day of fruits and vegetables, along with whole
grains, lean meat and low fat dairy products. Make time in your day for
some form of physical activity. Walking is an excellent form of physical
activity that almost everyone can do. In addition to helping to control
weight, physical activity decreases the risk of dying from coronary
heart disease and reduces the risk of developing diabetes, hypertension,
and certain cancers.
What is obesity?
How is obesity measured?
Body Mass Index
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Body Fat Distribution:
Pears vs. Apples
Copyright © 2005.
Bridget Mwape writes for the
Nutritional Supplements Website at: http://www.nutritional-supplements.org.uk
and she's also a regular contributor to the Outdoor Gear Website at