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May 14 2015

Are You Overweight or Obese? Find Out with These Methods

Published by at 6:00 am under Obesity

obesity-measuring-methods-and-toolsOne in every three Americans is overweight or obese. Obesity is a serious disease that often leads to more serious conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. The earlier the patient knows that he is obese, the better his chance to prevent these complications. There are several ways to determine if you are simply overweight or you are already obese. Read on and we’ll share some of the common methods used in determining obesity, as well as the advanced methods that may be recommended by your health care provider.

Basic Methods Used for Determining Obesity

Some ways to measure obesity level can be done at the comfort of your home. They are easy to use and yield realistic results. The most common are BMI, waist to hip ratio, and waist circumference method. Here are some more details on how to perform these methods:

BMI Calculation

Perhaps the most popular method, BMI (body mass index) calculation estimates body fat stored in one’s body by measuring height and weight. There are online BMI calculators that will ask for your weight in kilograms and height in meters. The formula is: weight / height. Here’s what your BMI means:

Normal Weight: 18.5 to 24.9
Overweight: 25.0 to 29.9
Obese: 30.0 to 39.9
Extremely obese: 40.0 and above

Although simple, BMI calculation can sometimes overestimate or underestimate body fat measurement. That is why an additional method is often advised.

Waist Circumference

Getting your waist circumference cannot actually measure obesity. But it will help determine the likelihood of someone who might be suffering from obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Men who measure 102cm (40in) and women who have 88cm (35in) waist circumference are at high risk of these diseases.

Waist-Hip Ratio

Waist to hip ratio indicates how healthy a person is. To know your ratio, simply divide waist measurement to hips. Men with 0.90 score or higher are considered obese while the score for women to be considered as obese is 0.85 or higher.

Advanced Measurement Methods

Further assessment may be necessary if you want to be sure about your status or condition. These advanced methods are usually performed by health care professionals to determine if you are really obese or just overweight.

• Caliper-derived measurements of skin-fold thickness. This method involves pinching the skin of various body areas including shoulder blades, upper arms, thighs, and trunk to determine the amount of fat underneath it.

• Dual-energy radiographic absorptiometry (DEXA). This method is fairly new, but promises more accurate measurement of how much fat is in one’s body. Particularly, it measures fat percentage, fat-free mass, and fat mass.

• Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). Considered as one of the most effective methods of measuring body fat, this method involves attaching electrodes to a person’s body. These electrodes travel through body water to determine your body fat. The more fat, the more difficult it is for the current to pass. This method also takes into consideration the weight, height, gender, and age of the subject.

• Ultrasonography. The machine used in this method basically transmits sound pulses that travel to the body, and hit boundary tissues. These pulses can measure how thick the fat is in between muscles, and thus can estimate how much fat is stored in the body.

• Underwater weighing. As its name suggests, this method requires the person to go underwater to know the muscle and fat ratio. First, the person is weighted on land and then will submerge under water in a special scale. People with more muscles become heavier underwater since muscles are denser than water. But people with more fats become lighter underwater since fat is less dense than water.

Your Best Tool to Counter Obesity

With these methods, you can now accurately determine if you are obese or overweight. If your weight falls in any of these categories, you need to start taking care of yourself and adopt a weight loss regimen to avoid health complications. You can also resort to weight loss medications to guarantee a successful weight loss. One perfect pill that you can take is Phentermine. It is an appetite suppressant that is commonly prescribed for obese people. You can get more info about this popular drug here.

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