Obesity is a serious health problem that affects almost one of three Americans adults. Since 1980, the number of obese and overweight adult Americans has roughly doubled, and tripled for children. Obesity is related to being overweight, but is medically defined differently. So what does being obese mean exactly?
What is obesity?
Obesity simply means having too much body fat for your body. A measurement called the body mass index (BMI) is typically used to determine if a person is overweight or obese. BMI is calculated as a ratio between weight and height. Weight is usually understood as entire body weight, which comes from bones, fat and water in the body.
Underweight - To be underweight, a person weighs less than average relative to height.
BMI = 18.5 - 24.9
Overweight - To be overweight, a person weighs more than average relative to height.
BMI = 25 - 29.9
Obese - A person's body fat is too high relative to height.
BMI = 30+
Do doctors know what causes people to become overweight? And how does weight gain increase over time? Plus, are you at risk of becoming overweight? Click here to read more about risk factors and causes of obesity here.