when are we obese

When are we obese?

Obesity is a weight-related disease affecting many people. When is one considered obese? From what BMI? We reveal the answer to this article!

What is obesity?

Obesity is an excess of fat causing various health disadvantages. According to the World Health Organization, it is an abnormal or excessive accumulation of body fat. Obesity presents health risks. When it reaches a very advanced stage where excess fat is close to significant proportions, it can be the cause of several other ailments such as high blood pressure, diabetes or respiratory problems.

This excess is usually caused by an imbalance in the energy balance. The metabolism of the human body is regulated by energy intake influenced on the one hand by food intake and on the other hand by energy expenditure. On the other hand, they are also influenced by the resting metabolism, the energy expenditure related to daily physical activity and the thermal effect of food. The origin of obesity is therefore the increase in intake and the decrease in expenditure. In some cases, this imbalance may be one-off or transitory. In cases of excess fat and inconsiderate weight gain, it sets in overtime and becomes chronic.

Besides, other factors influence weight gain. These include hormonal disorders, psychological, genetic, family, and, in some cases, societal factors.

The Body Mass Index (BMI), the basic indicator of obesity…

The WHO defines BMI as a tool for assessing the degree of obesity. It indicates the ideal range of weight according to height and therefore makes it possible to determine when one is obese. BMI is calculated by dividing body mass in kilograms by height in meters and then squaring the result. Normal BMI values are 20 to 25 for men and 19 to 24 for women.

From these values, we talk about:

  • overweight when a person has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 ;
  • moderate obesity when a person has a BMI between 30 and 35;
  • severe obesity occurs when a person has a BMI between 35 and 40 ;
  • of morbid obesity for a BMI of over 40.

At what BMI is one obese?

Above a BMI of 30, a person is obese. According to many health professionals, to know when one is obese, BMI is better than just weighing. It has the advantage of less penalizing people with an imposing build or physique, who is often wrongly considered obese.

At the stage of moderate obesity, the affected person has the possibility of returning to a normal BMI. He or she must then review his or her eating habits and adopt a healthy lifestyle. Otherwise, if this situation persists over time, the subject is in the grip of serious health problems. The last two stages in determining whether a person is obese are more difficult to manage. They cause more health risks. Severe obesity and morbid or massive obesity promote the development of metabolic diseases more quickly. These include heart, joint and respiratory problems, as well as diabetes.

Also, it should be noted that BMI does not take into consideration muscle mass, fat distribution and bone structure. In all cases, the doctor can confirm the diagnosis of BMI by referring to waist circumference. On this basis, when is one obese? A person is obese when the waist circumference is greater than 94 cm for men and 80 cm for women, due to excess fat in the body.

However, it should be pointed out that the calculation of BMI in children is based on the body mass curve revealed by the health record.

Given this overview of BMI and its corollaries, a person is considered obese when he or she has a BMI greater than or equal to 30.

Also read: Consequences of morbid obesity