Ways to analyse if you are overweight or not?
We know that Being overweight increases risk of health conditions such as heart problems, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. However, many are getting heart problems, or sudden brain haemorrhage at young age even with ideal weight. So question arises in our mind that weight loss is really important?? Or how to judge that do we really need to lose weight or Fat? Well to answer this let us understand 1st that weight is just 1 parameter to prevent health problems, there are many other reasons which contribute to health, like lifestyle, fat percentage, physical activity, stress, genetics etc. But by far overweight people get trapped into metabolic disorders easily. So understanding that how to check if you are at risk or not is critical. Following are the parameters to check if one is overweight/or at risk or not.
1.BMI -The body mass index (BMI), is a measure for human body shape based on an individual's weight and height. Commonly accepted BMI ranges are underweight: under 18.5 kg/m2, normal weight: 18.5 to 25, overweight: 25 to 30, obese: over 30.
Limitations of BMI - The adult BMI does not take into account age, gender or muscle mass. This means that:
very muscular adults and athletes may be classed "overweight" or "obese" even though their body fat is low
adults who lose muscle as they get older may fall in the "healthy weight" range even though they may be carrying excess fat
However, the BMI is a relatively straightforward and convenient method of assessing someone's weight.
2.Waist to Hip circumference -Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is one of several measurements your doctor can use to see if you’re overweight, and if that excess weight is putting your health at risk. Unlike your body mass index (BMI), which calculates the ratio of your weight to your height, WHR measures the ratio of your waist circumference to your hip circumference. It determines how much fat is stored on your waist, hips, and buttocks.
Not all excess weight is the same when it comes to your health risks. People who carry more weight around their midsection (an apple-shaped body) are at higher risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and premature death than those who carry more of their weight in their hips and thighs (a pear-shaped body). Even if your BMI is within a normal range, your risk for disease may be increased.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a healthy WHR is:
- 0.9 or less in men
- 0.85 or less for women
Limitation with the assessment is easy to make mistakes while checking WHR, because you need to take two separate measurements. And, it can be hard to get an accurate measurement of your hips.
WHR can also be harder to interpret than waist circumference — another measurement of abdominal obesity. You might have a high WHR because you’ve gained weight in your abdomen. Or, you might simply have put on extra muscle around your hips from working out.
Certain people won’t be able to get an accurate measure using WHR, including those who are shorter than 5 feet tall and those who have a BMI of 35 or higher. WHR is also not recommended for use in children.
- Body Fat Percentage –
There are many ways to check body fat percentage like Callipers, anthropometric test, Bioelectrical impedance Dexa scan. Out of all for beginners’ weight loss judgements Bioelectrical impedance aka smart scales are best they give approx. fat percentage and BMI in some scales it also gives Waist to hip ratio.
By far This is the best way to analyse if one is at high risk of metabolic disorders or not rather than only focusing on BMI.
Author- Ms.Tripti Khanna
M.Sc. - Food and Nutrition, Post Graduate In Food Science And Nutrition