Overweight and obesity

When does a person suffer from being overweight? What is the overweight and what methods are there to measure this? We will introduce you to the most common methods such as the Body Mass Index.

Ideal, normal and feel-good weight

Normal and ideal weights are based on the Broca Index (BI), named after the French physician P. Broca. He is easy to calculate. You subtract the number 100 from your height in cm and get your normal weight in kg. The Broca normal weight minus 10 percent gives the so-called ideal weight. Especially large or small people can not be properly assessed with this index.

That is why people often talk about feel-good weight. This is an individual weight range of ± 10 percent around the Broca normal weight, an area where you can still feel good and be fit.

Body mass index (body mass index, BMI)

Today, the internationally recognized BMI is used as a measure of the healthy minimum or maximum weight. He is much more meaningful than the BI, since not only the height but also the weight (the fat mass) are taken into account.

You calculate it by dividing your body weight by the square of your height in meters. The range of about 19 to 25 is considered normal and satisfactory for health. Values ​​below mean a tendency to underweight. Over 25 to 30 means slight to moderate excess fat. More than 30 people speak of a clear health risk from obesity. The majority is that from a BMI of 27, the risks for secondary diseases such as increased blood pressure and diabetes increase and increase significantly from a BMI of 30.

The BMI shifts upwards with age. It applies only to a limited extent to children of growing age, pregnant women and very muscular persons (athletes).

Fat distribution type

Obesity is not the same as being overweight when it comes to weight-related health risks. Above all, it is crucial at which point the fat sits.

One differentiates:

  • Female fat distribution type: hip and thigh pear shape
  • Male fat distribution type: stem or belly apple shape

Today it is known that with a accumulation of fat in the abdominal area, as is usually the case in men, the risk for the development of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases is significantly higher than for a fat concentration in the hip thigh area. As a result, being overweight is more likely to endanger men's health than women's.

Which type of fat distribution you belong to can be easily determined by measuring the circumference of your waist and hip. Divide the value of the waist circumference in centimeters by the hip circumference in centimeters (T / H ratio). In women, the T / H ratio should be below 0.85. In men, the T / H ratio should not be greater than 1.0.

Body fat measurement

Skin fat measurement and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) are used to assess the fat content of the body composition. By measuring the skin folds at different parts of the body, a statement about the size of the fat content of the body mass and the fat distribution is well possible. Measurement by BIA should be performed by trained personnel.

When does losing weight make sense?

Even today, overweight is seen primarily as a cosmetic problem and not as a serious health risk. There is no limit to inventiveness. Magazines never tire of promoting new slimming diets, overweight celebrities advertise diets for extra pounds, skinny models indicate the fashion trend.

But that should not be a reason to lose weight. Motivation for weight loss should come from the own body feeling. It is important to strive for a weight that can be kept without much deprivation when eating and with a little more exercise.

From a medical point of view, a clear overweight (BMI> 30) should always be taken. With a BMI of 25 to 30, weight loss is generally recommended when there are simultaneously risks or illnesses caused or exacerbated by obesity (high blood pressure, diabetes, gout, dyslipidemia, etc.), unfavorable waist / hip circumference ratio, or There is a considerable emotional stress due to the unloved fat pads.

In the latter case, it is important to consider the extent to which the burden of suffering is actually due to obesity or whether the excess weight is not a symptom of a deeper problem.

How does a weight reduction come about?

To maintain your body weight, you need to adjust your energy intake to your needs. If you want to lose weight, you need to give your body less energy than it consumes. Thus, the organism is forced to resort to its reserves.

In his "famine", he first makes use of the readily available glucose reserves. He gets the missing calories from the glycogen stores of muscles and liver. Since each glycogen unit is bound to several molecules of water, the body loses a lot of water when it burns.

Then he starts breaking down valuable body protein. At the beginning of a diet you lose weight, but no fat. It is not a true weight loss. Degradation of fat from fat tissue begins only after about a week of dieting. The weight is now slower than in the first days.

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