The WHO defines overweight and obesity as abnormal or excessive fat that may impair health. It is important to note that overweight and obesity are two (2) different classes or categories of excessive fat accumulation.
A measure known as the body mass index (BMI) is most commonly used for this classification The BMI is calculated using an individual’s height in metres (m) and weight in kilograms (kg) with the formular, weight/height x height.
• BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal weight
• BMI between 25.0 and 29.9 is considered overweight
• BMI of 30.0 and above is considered obese
N.B – it is very important to note that the BMI is not a measure of the degree of fatness of an individual.
Being overweight predisposes an individual to non-communicable diseases such as:
• Heart disesases
• Cerebrovascular accident (stroke)
• Some forms of cancer (endometrial, breast and colon).
While the disadvantages of an increased BMI (overweight and obese)cannot be overflogged, BMI below normal weight range (underweight) is also not healthy and can predispose an individual to:
• Weak immune sysytem
• Fragile bones
• Fatigue (tiredness)
• Fertility problems for women
A healthy lifestyle including a balanced diet, physical activity especially the right amount of exercise, and regular calculation or check of BMI is required to save an individual from being overweight and underweight.
For more information, meet your healthcare professional.