Defining Obesity

A much-discussed question is the definition of Obesity. What is Obesity or who is obese and who is not?

The first indicator or sign is the visual appearance. Does a child or adult look disproportionate in figure? 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 overweight and then may be obesity.

The most accurate measurement of ideal weight for adults is to calculate Body Mass Index. Weight in kilograms divided by height in meter squared. So if your height is 160cm 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 overweight and 30 and more is obese.

Another simpler way to look at a good weight for height is to know your height in centimeters and minus 100. So if you are 170cm minus 100 you should try to be around 70 kgs. Plus or minus 2kgs depending on your bone frame and muscle build. This is only an approximate.

Another textbook method is to go by standard height weight charts set for particular countries. If you are160 cms, the Indian books say ideal weight is 55-58kgs.Then 10% more, i.e 64kgs, is over weight and 20% more, i.e 70kgs, you are obese.170cm men should be 65-68kgs. So up to 75 you may be considered over weight and above that to 80kgs and more is beginning to be obese.

A 5-year-old child should be approximately 20kgs and 110cm. A 10 year old should be approx. 25-28 kgs, 130cms. A 15-year-old boy should be approximately 60kgs and 170cm and girl 50kgs and 160cms.

For the last 18 years we have counseled over 6000 people, 5-75 years of age and let me tell you there is no magic cure or remedy, powder or pill, machine or gadget that can reduce weight quickly and easily. Its simple hard work of giving up the goodies and regular exercise. This is not so easy for anybody so donít just let children eat carelessly and recklessly and adults donít just overeat madly and say,Ē After this I will just do a crash diet and knock those kgs offĒ. Itís not so easy!!

Definitely prevention is better than cure. Watch what your child chooses to eat. Even if they are normal now but choosing a lot of fatty food daily, they are heading for trouble. Also if children or you find yourself tending to be lazy and not fond of moving and being active, pull yourself up. You will be slowly but surely heading towards obesity.

Make sure your diet is well balanced, regular, with plenty of fresh salad and fruits. Make sure you are active throughout the day and also have a 25-30 minutesí walk per day 6-7 times a week. This is necessary for children too. Studies and work are important but if the body and mind get fat, unhealthy and dull, with all work and no play, all the ranks in the world and all the money will be useless.

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