Am I overweight?
Statistics show that more than 60% of Americans are overweight and over 30% qualify as obese. Obese simply means you weigh 20% more than your ideal body weight. Morbidly obese means you weigh more than 100 lbs over your ideal body weight.
Overweight and obesity are epidemics in the United States. Both children and adults are increasing in weight at an alarming rate. In the past 20 years the population of obese people has DOUBLED.
What is ideal body weight?
Ideal body weight is the correct amount you should weigh based on your height. Obviously, taller people will weigh more and shorter people will weigh less. You can get a rough estimate of your proper weight by following this formula:
Give yourself 110 lbs for the first 5 feet
Give yourself 6 lbs for every additional inch
A man who is 5’8" should weigh about 158 lbs
Give yourself 100 lbs for the first 5 feet
Give yourself 5 lbs for every additional inch
A woman who is 5’4" should weigh 120 lbs
Another way to judge if you are obese is to measure your body mass index or BMI. This is simply a chart or calculation that shows whether you are overweight, obese, or morbidly obese based on the height and weight you supply.
These two methods are accurate for most people. They are not accurate for body builders because of their increased muscle mass. Muscle weighs more than fat, so a very muscular person may appear obese by the above two measurements. If you are a body builder it is best for you to measure your percent body fat, which, is easily done by a simple (hand grip) electronic fat analysis machine or by measuring a pinch of fat with calipers at the waist.
Why is it important to know your waist circumference?
Extra weight centered around your waist or abdomen is dangerous and especially unhealthy as it creates insulin resistance within your body. This can lead to a cascade of events that greatly accelerate many health risks (i.e., heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, etc.) and shorten your life span.
- Waist circumference measurement allows you to evaluate your abdominal fat content.
- Women should have a waist measurement of less than 35 inches or 88cm.
- Men should have a waist measurement of less than 40 inches or 102 cm.