Obesity is a disease that affects approximately 60 million people in the United States, with women being particularly affected. Over a third of women between the ages of 20 and 74 are obese, most of whom are African American or Mexican. With more and more prepackaged foods and less and less activity, the number of obese people in America has steadily increased since the 1960s.
But what is obesity? Many people think that obesity means that a person is overweight, but that’s not entirely true. An overweight person has excess weight that includes muscle, bone, fat, and water. An obese person has excess body fat. Most health professionals agree that a man is obese when he is over 25 percent body fat and a woman is obese when she is over 30 percent. Females physiologically have more body fat than males, so there is a percentage difference.
It’s difficult to determine the exact percentage of a person’s body fat, but estimates can be made in a number of ways. First, you can use a tweezer-like tool called a caliper to measure the thickness of skin folds on different parts of your body and compare the results to standardized numbers. You can also use a small device that sends a harmless electric current through your body and measures your body fat percentage. The most common way to determine if a person is obese is to look at their body mass index (BMI). A person with a BMI over 30 is considered obese, and a BMI over 40 is considered severely obese. However, it is important to remember that BMI can be misleading in pregnant or breastfeeding women and in muscular individuals.
Obesity is associated with an increased risk of diseases such as high blood pressure, type II diabetes, heart disease, and breast, colon, and prostate cancer. In addition, obesity has been linked to mental health conditions such as depression or feelings of shame and low self-esteem. Health experts say that even losing 10 to 15 percent of your body weight can dramatically reduce your risk of developing these serious conditions. In addition, many obese people face discrimination and are the target of insults and other abuse.
A number of factors such as Factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, genetics and certain medical disorders cause obesity, but it can be defeated. A major barrier to increased physical activity is motivation and accountability. Find a friend with similar fitness goals and start a simple exercise program together. It takes time to see the results, but your health is worth it!
Thanks to Lynn Hits