Obesity and overweight

Obesity and overweight are a result of an imbalance between food consumed and physical activity. Nowadays calories consumption of adults has increased, but there are no changes in physical activity. Obesity is a complex issue related to lifestyle, environment, and genes. Overweight adolescents often become obese adults. Obese adults are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke, certain cancers, infertility. 

The United States has the highest prevalence of obesity among the developed nations. An estimated 66% of U.S. adults are overweight, and 32% are obese. 17% of children and adolescents between ages 2 and 19 years are overweight. Prevalence is higher in black and Hispanic populations, especially in Mexican-Americans.

Overweight and obesity is higher in women, who are members of racial and ethnic minorities compared with non-Hispanic white women. Non-Hispanic black women (82%) have a higher prevalence of overweight and obesity compared with men (69%). Mexican-American women (75%) and men (76%) have similar rates of overweight and obesity.

Balancing energy intake and energy expenditure is the basis of weight management throughout life. Eating a healthy diet and being physically active people promote health, psychological wellbeing, and a healthy body weight. The most important thing to maintain weight is to prevent gradual weight gain over time by making small decreases in food and beverage calories and increasing physical activity. Patterns of healthful eating and regular physical activity should begin in childhood and continue throughout adulthood.

Overweight is a state in which weight exceeds a standard based on height. Obesity is a condition of excessive fatness, either generalized or localized. It is possible to be obese at a weight within normal limits according to standard tables, just as it is possible to be overweight without being obese. But in most people overweight and obesity parallel each other.

Overweight and obesity are assessed in a variety of ways. Currently the most commonly used methods include determination of the body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference. 

Waist circumference over 40 inches in men and over 35 inches in women signifies increased risk equal to a BMI of 25 to 35. When waist circumference and percentage of fat are included together, they are significant predictors of heart failure and risk associated with obesity. Waist circumference is the strongest independent correlate of insulin sensitivity index in older adults, and waist circumference is a better predictor of adiposity.

BMI - A standardized estimate of an individual’s relative body fat calculated from his or her height and weight.
BMI = ( Weight in Pounds / ( Height in inches x Height in inches ) ) x 703. Individuals with a BMI of 25 is classify as overweight. Persons who have a BMI of 30 or higher are classified as obese. 

Your health is not only affected by how much body fat you have, but also by where most of the fat is located on your body. People who tend to gain weight mostly in their hips and buttocks have roughly a pear body shape, while people who tend to gain weight mostly in the abdomen have more of an apple body shape. If you have an apple shaped body rather than a pear shaped body, you are at increased risk for the health problems associated with obesity, such as diabetes, coronary heart disease and high blood pressure. You can take special care to keep your weight at a healthy level, eat nutritiously, exercise as appropriate, and maintain other healthy lifestyle habits.

Your body weight and waist measurements are the most accurate just after you wake up from 7-8 hours of sleep. Knowing your body fat percentage can also help you determine if your weight loss goals are realistic. Remember, weight loss doesn't always mean fat loss.

Calculate your BMI and caloric needs. Just enter your weight, height, sex, age and physical activity. Knowing your personal BMI and caloric intake can allow you to more finely tune a weight loss, weight gain or weight management program. We recomend to use this formula for people over 20 years old. We don‘t recomend it for pregnant woman, children and adolescent, older people, athletes.


  1. Anonymous7/23/2013

    What's appropriate percentage of fat for a teenager 15yo?

    1. Before adolescence average body fat is 18% in both boys and girls.
      After age 13 boys drop 2-3% in body fat and girls gain 8-10% in body fat.

  2. There are other methods for losing weight, but in all cases, it amounts to lifestyle changes that differ from what caused the weight gain. The reasons we fail and revert back to our previous overweight condition is that once we lose the weight we change our daily routine back to what it was before the weight loss.

  3. Anonymous4/16/2015

    blame not exercising guaranteed to be the number one cause of obesity.

  4. Rhenatha4/16/2015

    blame food additives, processed food, corn syrup and a lot of food advertising and an increasingly sedentary life style, and the destruction of neighborhoods, computers also

  5. No i'm not going to blame it on genes, I'm going to lay blame directly where it belongs, on a lack of willpower.

  6. What nonsense.

  7. Our bodies are hard-wired for sugar.