Am I Obese Or Am I Overweight?

The Sta­tis­tics:

  • More than 1 in 3 adults is con­sid­ered obese.
  • About 13 of chil­dren or ado­les­cents (age 6 to 19) are con­sid­ered over­weight or obese.
  • More than 1 in 6 chil­dren or ado­les­cents (age 6 to 19) is con­sid­ered obese.
  • Obe­si­ty increas­es your risk for heart dis­ease- the #1 killer of both men and women in the U.S.
  • One study sug­gests that 4% of some can­cers in men and 7% of some can­cers in women are caused by obesity.

Facts: Obe­si­ty is the con­di­tion of hav­ing excess body fat. There are dif­fer­ent rea­sons why obe­si­ty occurs, but if not tak­en care of, obe­si­ty can lead to many health prob­lems. Obe­si­ty can occur from:

  • Lack of phys­i­cal activ­i­ty. If you don’t move, you’re not burn­ing many calo­ries, and those calo­ries can add up. Mod­er­ate exer­cise can help decrease obe­si­ty. Start slow by walk­ing; wear­ing a fit­ness track­er like a Fit­bit can help you under­stand how much you move each day.
  • Unhealthy eat­ing habits. Tak­ing in more calo­ries than you need con­tributes to excess weight on your body. Unhealthy eat­ing isn’t just fast food intake. If you’re tak­ing in too many car­bo­hy­drates, lim­it­ed veg­eta­bles and fruit, and skip­ping break­fast, you’re con­tribut­ing to your weight increase. Try keep­ing a food jour­nal to under­stand how much food you intake.
  • Lack of sleep. If you’re not sleep­ing enough, your hor­mones fluc­tu­ate which can lead to food crav­ings. Crav­ing foods high in car­bo­hy­drates or extra calo­ries does not help when try­ing to fight obe­si­ty. Get a good night’s sleep to help reduce cravings. 
  • Some med­ica­tions. Some med­ica­tions can cause you to gain weight. Com­pen­sate these mea­sures with prop­er diet and exer­cise. Talk with your doc­tor about solu­tions if you can’t seem to shake off the pounds.
  • Preg­nan­cy. A woman gains weight out of neces­si­ty while preg­nant. After preg­nan­cy, it may be dif­fi­cult to lose the weight gained, which can lead to obesity.
  • Med­ical con­di­tions. There are a few med­ical con­di­tions (Prad­er-Willi syn­drome, Cush­ing’s syn­drome etc.) that can con­tribute to weight gain. A low metab­o­lism or a thy­roid prob­lem is unlike­ly to cause obesity.

Did you know? There is a dif­fer­ence between being over­weight and being obese. While both indi­cate the neces­si­ty to lose extra weight, being over­weight means there is excess weight from mus­cle, bone, fat, and water. An adult with a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 25 and 29.9 is con­sid­ered over­weight. Obe­si­ty means hav­ing excess fat. Obe­si­ty is clas­si­fied as an adult with a BMI of 30 or high­er. BMI cal­cu­lates a rela­tion­ship between height and weight. 

Note: BMI is a gen­er­al mea­sure of body fat. Some peo­ple, such as ath­letes, may have a high BMI due to mus­cle mass. Con­sult with your doc­tor to dis­cuss any health issues.

What You Can Do?

The best thing you can do to com­bat obe­si­ty is to live a healthy lifestyle. A bal­anced diet filled with fruits and veg­gies will help pre­vent obe­si­ty and start you down the path to los­ing weight. Com­bine your healthy eat­ing habits with phys­i­cal activ­i­ty to real­ly kick-start your health. In addi­tion, you can enlist a friend, fam­i­ly mem­ber, or oth­er sup­port­ers to help encour­age you on your path to health. Keep a record to see which foods you eat more than you should, and try to elim­i­nate food trig­gers that cause you to overeat. Above all, stay pos­i­tive and keep encour­age­ments around to help you reach your goal.

If you are strug­gling with your weight, talk to your pri­ma­ry care physi­cian for advice to help you take con­trol of your health.

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