Am I Over Weight or Obese  


I have been hearing different opinions about what is the ideal weight for different people and what obesity is. I have a five year old son, a nine year old daughter. I am 5 feet 2 inches and am 35 year old. My husband is 5 feet 7 inches and is 40 years old. Can you tell us what our ideal weight should be?

The first indicator or sign is the visual appearance. Does a child or adult look dis-proportionate? Is the abdomen bulging? Are the hips protruding? Are the upper arms or thighs heavy? Is the face plump and puffy? Then that is definitely the sign of over weight and then may be obesity.

The most accurate measurement of ideal weight for adults is to calculate Body Mass Index. Weight in kg divided by height in meter squared. So if your height is 160 cm you multiply 160 into 160 to get 2.56 meter square. Then divide weight 60kg by 2.56 to get BMI equal to 23.43. The ideal BMI is 21 or 22. 20-25 is normal. 25-30 BMI is over weight and 30 and more is obese.

Another simpler way to look at a good weight for height is to know your height in cm and minus 100. So if you are 170 cm minus 100 you should try to be around 70kg. Plus or minus two kg depending on your bone frame and muscle build. This is only an approximate.

Another text book method is to go by standard height weight charts set for particular countries. If you are 160 cm, the Indian books say the ideal weight is 55-58 kg. Then 10 percent more 64kg, is over weight and 20 percent more, 70kg, is obese. Also 170 cm men should be 65-68 kg. So up to 75 you may be considered over weight and anything above that to 80kg and more indicates obesity.

A five year old child should be approximately 20kgs. and 110 cms. A 10 year old child should be approximately 28kgs. and 132 cms. A 15 year old boy should be 55-58kgs. and 165-168 cms. A 15 year old girl should be 48-50kgs and 158-160cms. Prevention is better than cure. Watch what your children choose to eat. Even if they are normal now but eat a lot of fatty food daily, they are heading for trouble. Also if you find them and yourself becoming lazy, pull yourself up. You will be slowly but surely heading towards obesity.

Make sure your diet is well balanced and regular, with plenty of fresh salad and fruits. Make sure you are active throughout the day and also take a 20-30 minute walk daily. This is necessary for children too. Studies and work is important but if the body and mind get unhealthy and dull, with all work and no play, all the ranks in the world and all the money in the world are useless.

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