Weight: How Much Is Too Much?

In medical terms, anyone who is more than 20 percent above normal body weight for his or her height and frame size is obese. Normal height and weight are listed in actuarial tables, such as the 1983 Metropolitan Life Insurance Height and Weight Table.

In reality, figuring out if a person is obese is more complicated than simply measuring a person’s weight. A person who has lots of muscle mass, such as an athlete, may weigh more than 20 percent above the chart weight and still not be obese. This is because muscle tissue is heavier than fat tissue. And a person who is very inactive may be obese even at weights less than 2() percent over the norm.

Many healthcare providers believe that measuring the percent of a person’s body weight that is fat is a more accurate way of determining if the person is overweight. Methods for doing this include any of the following: skinfold measurements; circumference measurements or hydrostatic weighing, which requires a person to be weighed while completely underwater.

People who are significantly overweight increase their likelihood of developing health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic back pain and joint pains.

Most healthcare providers agree that the best way to keep your weight down is to follow these guidelines: avoid fad diets, get plenty of exercise, change your eating habits and lose weight gradually rather than quickly.

Your healthcare provider can help you plan a safe and effective strategy for losing weight and keeping it off.

People who are significantly overweight increase their likelihood of developing Health Problems. . .

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