Information About Overweight (obesity) – You Should Know

When people talk about being overweight or obese, they mean that someone has more body fat than is healthy. Everyone has some body fat, but when someone has excess fat, it can affect the person’s health and ability to walk, run, and get around. It also affects the way they look and may cause them to be bigger and rounder than other people.

What Does Overweight Mean?

Overweight is generally defined as having more body fat than is optimally healthy. Being overweight is a common condition, especially where food supplies are plentiful and lifestyles are sedentary. As much as 64% of the United States adult population is considered either overweight or obese, and this percentage has increased over the last four decades.

1. A situation where a portfolio holds an excess amount of a particular security when compared to the security’s weight in the underlying benchmark portfolio. Actively managed portfolios will make a security overweight when doing so will allow the portfolio to achieve excess returns.

2. An analyst’s opinion regarding the future performance of a security. Overweight will usually signify that the security is expected to outperform either its industry, sector or, even, the market altogether.


The degree to which a person is overweight is generally described by body mass index (BMI). Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25 or more, thus it includes pre-obesity defined as a BMI between 25 and 30 and obesity as defined by a BMI of 30 or more. Pre obese and overweight however are often used interchangeably thus giving overweight a common definition of a BMI of between 25 -30. There are however several other common ways to measure the amount of adiposity or fat present in an individual’s body.

Body Mass Index

The body mass index (BMI) is a measure of a person’s weight taking into account their height. It is given by the formula: BMI equals a person’s weight (mass) in kilograms divided by the square of the person’s height in metres. The units therefore are kg/m2 but BMI measures are typically used and written without units.

BMI provides a significantly more accurate representation of body fat content than simply measuring a person’s weight. It is only moderately correlated with both body fat percentage and body fat mass (R2 of 0.68.)[5] It does not take into account certain factors such as pregnancy or bodybuilding; however, the BMI is an accurate reflection of fat percentage in the majority of the adult population.

Body Volume Index

The body volume index (BVI) was devised in 2000 as a computer, rather than manual, measurement of the human body for obesity and an alternative to the BMI.

Body volume index uses 3D software to create an accurate 3D image of a person so BVI can differentiate between people with the same BMI rating, but who have a different shape and different weight distribution.

BVI measures where a person’s weight and the fat are located on the body, rather than total weight or total fat content and places emphasis on the weight carried around the abdomen, commonly known as central obesity. There has been an acceptance in recent years that abdominal fat and weight around the abdomen constitute a greater health risk.

Simple Weighing

The person’s weight is measured and compared to an estimated ideal weight. This is the easiest and most common method, but by far the least accurate, as it only measures one quantity (weight) and often does not take into account many factors such as height, body type, and relative amount of muscle mass.

Skinfold Calipers or “Pinch Test”

The skin at several specific points on the body is pinched and the thickness of the resulting fold is measured. This measures the thickness of the layers of fat located under the skin, from which a general measurement of total amount of fat in the body is calculated. This method can be reasonably accurate for many people, but it does assume particular patterns for fat distribution over the body which may not apply to all individuals, and does not account for fat deposits which may not be directly under the skin. Also, as the measurement and analysis generally involves a high degree of practice and interpretation, for an accurate result it must be performed by a professional and cannot generally be done by patients themselves.

Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis

A small electrical current is passed through the body to measure its electrical resistance. As fat and muscle conduct electricity differently, this method can provide a direct measurement of the body fat percentage, in relation to muscle mass. In the past, this technique could only be performed reliably by trained professionals with specialized equipment, but it is now possible to buy home testing kits which allow people to do this themselves with a minimum of training. Despite the improved simplicity of this process over the years, however, there are a number of factors which can affect the results, including hydration and body temperature, so it still needs some care when taking the test to ensure that the results are accurate.

Hydrostatic Weighing

Considered one of the more accurate methods of measuring body fat, this technique involves complete submersion of a person in water, with special equipment to measure the person’s weight while submerged. This weight is then compared with “dry weight” as recorded outside the water to determine overall body density. As fat is less dense than muscle, careful application of this technique can provide a reasonably close estimate of fat content in the body. This technique does, however, require expensive specialized equipment and trained professionals to administer it properly.

Dual energy X-ray Aabsorptiometry (DEXA)

Originally developed to measure bone density, DEXA imaging has also come to be used as a precise way to determine body fat content by using the density of various body tissues to identify which portions of the body are fat. This test is generally considered to be very accurate, but requires a great deal of expensive medical equipment and trained professionals to perform.

The most common method for discussing this subject and the one used primarily by researchers and advisory institutions is BMI. Definitions of what is considered to be overweight vary by ethnicity. The current definition proposed by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) designates whites, Hispanics and blacks with a BMI of 25 or more as overweight. For Asians, overweight is a BMI between 23 and 29.9 and obesity for all groups is a BMI of 30 or more.

Effects of Being Overweight

Obesity is one of the top threats to the health of individuals across the globe. Being overweight changes the ability to process foods  properly, release and acceptance of hormones, and creates a toxic environment within the body. No woman should have more than 35 percent body fat and men should not rise above 25 percent. Going above this body fat percentage greatly increases the risks of illness and disease.


At the beginning of the twentieth century, the farming industry used very little to no chemicals to enhance production. Now, in the twenty-first century, the farming industry uses herbicides, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics on the foods we eat. Fatty grain fed, hormonally modified, chemically altered foods are digested in our systems and become cells in our body.


Obesity causes many of the most common diseases in the world. Being overweight can cause insulin resistance, which leads to Type II Diabetes. A diet high in fat and lack of exercise causes cardiovascular disease and congestive heart failure. Excess weight can cause sleep apnea and respiratory illnesses. Many top scientists believe the increase of average weight directly corresponds to the increase of cancer cases, including kidney, breast, colon and prostate cancers.


Obesity is linked to depression, fibromyalgia, non specific joint pain and lower back injuries. Depression, fibromyalgia and non-specific joint pain causes an alarming rate of missed work days, tardiness long term and short term disability claims. All the missed work costs businesses billions of dollars around the world.


No illness is cheap to treat. Obesity related illness patients clog hospitals, spending billions of dollars in insurance. The increase of the weight of human beings also contributes to the increase in health insurance premiums. Perhaps if most individuals were thin and fit, the billions of dollars spent on treating obesity-related illnesses could be used to insure the less fortunate.


A body fat percentage over 40 is not genetic or hormonal. Yes, there are exceptions to every rule, but the key word here is rule. Pills and protein shake diets are not long term solutions. The long term solution to the obesity epidemic is proper nutritional habits and consistent exercise. Each and every individual should exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day, 6 to 7 days a week. The overweight individual must find activities they enjoy, whether it is walking the dog, dancing or bike riding. Each and every individual should do everything they can to eat right 90 percent of the time. Take steps to learn proper nutritional habits. Stay away from fast food, junk food and alcohol as much as possible. Take baby steps to improve the body by finding the single biggest reason the individual is overweight and eliminate it. Then move on to the second biggest obstacle and eliminate it. While eating healthy and exercising may not add literal years to your life, it can add life to those years.

Is That Dangerous

Let us now have a look at some effects we read above in more detail below:

High Blood Pressure

It is obvious that being overweight puts several stab wounds on the heart. One of these health effects is high blood pressure which is a real killer around the world for both men and women. You may have known but the side effects of being overweight are utterly responsible for 70% of people suffering from high blood pressure. One cure for this is to lose fat. After undertaking this task, the results would be more digestible.

Risk of Heart Disease

Did you know that the Heart Disease risk increases with an over weighted body? Obesity and abdominal fat are another two risk factors leading to diabetes as well as Heart Disease.

High Blood Cholesterol

Fortunately, our bodies make two types of cholesterol. HDL which is High Density Lipoprotein is good for heart protection while Low Density Lipoprotein is dangerous for the heart. LDL cholesterol levels can contribute to Heart Disease and increases when your body weight rises. This decreases your HDL levels and results in high levels of bad cholesterol (LDL)

Cancer Risk!

Did you know that around 20 – 30% of people suffer from cancer due to being overweight? However, by following simple weight loss strategies can significantly reduce your cancer risk. There are certain forms of cancer which you may suffer from that links with hormones. For instance, Breast Cancer risk increases after menopause because the hormone Estrogens is produced by body fat.

The benefits of maintaining little weight is endless. Nothing can be more beneficial than holding onto your life. Living with obesity will follow drastic consequences and the possibility of losing your life exists. So the faster you annihilate your body fat, the more of yourself you save.

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