Levels of Obesity

by Emily McBride
(last updated October 15, 2009)

The simple meaning of obesity is too much body fat. It is natural and necessary to have some fat in the body, but too much, especially around the waist, is not healthy. Besides making a person feel unattractive and uncomfortable, obesity also brings along dangerous health risks. Some of these risks include stroke, Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, gall bladder disease, and osteoarthritis. Many of these risks are heart related: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attacks, and heart failure.

One way that obesity is measured is by measuring the waist circumference. Forty inches or higher is dangerous for men, and thirty-five inches or higher is dangerous for women. Another way to measure obesity that is usually more common is by calculating the BMI (Body Mass Index). This calculation uses your height, your weight, and your sex, so it is not always entirely accurate (ie: muscle weighs more than fat does, so a body builder might be classified as obese even though they have a very small percentage of fat on his or her body). However, your BMI can still give you a relatively close idea if your weight is in a healthy range or not. The higher the BMI, the more associated risks you will likely suffer from. The classification of BMI ranges sometimes varies, but an average BMI range is as follows:

  • Underweight: Women < 19.1; Men < 20.7
  • Normal Range: Women 19.1–25.8; Men 20.7–26.4
  • Marginally Overweight: Women 25.8–27.3; Men 26.4–27.8
  • Overweight: Women 27.3–32.3; Men 27.8–31.1
  • Very Overweight or Obese: Women > 32.3; Men > 31
  • Morbid Obesity: Women and Men 40.0–49.9
  • Super Obese: Women and Men > 50

Obviously, the best thing to do is to go to your doctor. They will be able to run some tests that will show if you are truly overweight or obese or not. The best way to truly measure obesity and body weight is by finding out the percentage of fat that is in your body. A doctor, a weight loss center, or a gym should be able to help you do this. Once you know if you are overweight or obese, it's time to start trying to fix that. The body gains weight when the calorie intake (food) is greater than the calorie output (exercise); the body loses weight when the calorie output is greater than the calorie intake. So, to lose weight you need to try to eat less and exercise more. Many diets and weight loss programs exist to help you with your goals. Before you give up, remember how much healthier and enjoyable life can be when you are a healthy weight.

Author Bio

Emily McBride

A senior majoring in English and editing at BYU, Emily hopes to enter the field of professional editing upon graduation. Emily has done humanitarian work in Africa and studied in London. She enjoys blogging, foreign films, and playing the piano. ...


Cleaning Vinyl

Most likely, you have many different vinyl products in your home. With some easy steps, you can get your vinyl to look as ...

Discover More

Recognizing Signs of Osteoporosis

No one wants osteoporosis?fragile, brittle bones. Read on for how to recognize if you are developing osteoporosis.

Discover More

Protecting Your Important Health Records

We have so many different kinds of records to keep track of, but sometimes we forget about health records. It?s important to ...

Discover More

Causes of Obesity

Like all eating disorders, obesity has many causes. There are biological and hereditary components as well as societal and ...

Discover More

Obesity Diseases

Not only can obesity make you uncomfortable with how you feel and look, but it can also cause other serious diseases. Read on ...

Discover More

Gastric Bypass Complications

Knowing the risks associated with gastric bypass surgery is on the the first step in determining if it is a good choice for ...

Discover More

Comments for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

Links and Sharing