About overweight and obesity

What are overweight and obesity?

Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Body Mass Index (BMI) is used as a screening tool for overweight or obesity, this is a simple index of weight for height that is used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. It is defined as a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters. But BMI is not a diagnostic tool of the body fatness or health of an individual.

The WHO definition is:

  • a BMI greater than or equal to 25 is overweight (see picture)
  • a BMI greater than or equal to 30 is obesity (see picture)

In case of Children and Teens Overweight is defined as a BMI at or above the 85th percentile and below the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex. Obesity is defined as a BMI at or above the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex.

The Overweight and obesity increases risk for heart disease and stroke, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, and even forms of cancer.

Supportive environments and communities are fundamental, making the healthier choice of foods and regular physical activity the easiest choice (accessible, available and affordable), and therefore preventing obesity. So it’s probably a good idea to get in the habit of eating right and exercising while you’re still young.

Small change can help:

  • aim to lose gradually 1-2 pounds a week;
  • a healthy diet, increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts;
  • limit energy intake from total fats and sugars;
  • use low-fat options where possible;
  • engage in regular physical activity (60 minutes a day for children and 150 minutes per week for adults).

Remember always this "Obesity is preventable"

For more information WHO and CDC

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