We have gotten lost in a world primarily with a number called BMI. If you have a certain BMI you fall into a certain category. That is true but that little number is hard to put in perspective. There is an average healthy weight that covers about 50 pounds from low to high. This is the healthiest category. So, if you take a midrange of that number and add approximately 50 pounds you are obese. If you add about 100 pounds to that midrange you are morbidly obese.
To put things in an easier perspective ask yourself the question of how much one day is worth to you? Is it $100, $1,000 or maybe even a million dollars? Then remember that for the average person with obesity they will lose 5 -10 years of their life. This is a deadly disease. Few people with obesity live past 85 years of age. Many of us save our entire lives to enjoy our golden years. Think of all the thousands of days that all those lost years represent of lost time – lost family time, lost leisure time, lost enjoyment of life. Could that make you think differently?
Obesity is the condition of having an excess amount of fat in the body, and it can lead to health problems like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some types of cancer. In multiple surveys less than 10% of Americans understand that genetics, environmental causes, nutritional choices and a sedentary lifestyle, can all lead to obesity. Obesity is mostly treatable, and even a small amount of weight loss can improve related conditions and problems. Treatments for obesity include dietary changes, exercise, and sometimes prescription medications and weight loss surgery.
Doctors commonly use BMI, or body mass index, to diagnose obesity. BMI of 30 or more is considered obese for most people. The formula to find one’s BMI is 703 x weight(lbs) / [Height(in)]2 . A normal BMI is 18.5 to 24.9. Anything below that is considered underweight, and more than that is overweight, with 30 reaching the “obesity” category. While BMI is an accurate indicator for most people, it can be inaccurate for some, for example football players with a lot of muscle mass have a high BMI without obesity. As with any chronic disease doctors can discuss potential treatments, help with a safe weight loss plan, and treat related conditions.