Obesity is the word your mind utter whenever you realize the extra pounds in you. World obesity rates doubled itself since 1980’s. world Health Organisation says, most of the world’s population live in countries where obese has a higher risk of death. So obesity is transforming itself from a health condition to public health concern. In order to handle this public concern, measuring obesity seems to be more important. BMI is the widely used measure of obesity.
BMI – Body Mass Index, uses a person’s height and weight to measure his body fat and general health. BMI divides people into four categories,
- Less than 18.5 – underweight
- From 18.5 to 24.9 -Normal
- From 25-29.9 – Overweight
- Above 30 – Obese
BMI is the widely used method to measure obesity, but one formula for all is considered to be a flawed technique by most researchers.
The main reason for the failure BMI method are,
- A person’s height and weight alone cannot be taken into factor for deciding obesity, his bone, muscle and fat proportions also matters.
- BMI cannot differentiate a person having excellent muscle tone with low fat from a person having higher fat with low muscle tone. Muscles are four times denser than fat, so a person with high muscle tone seems to have a higher BMI.
- Obesity cannot be determined without knowing the distribution of fat in the body, ie a person may have more fat in waist , but a normal BMI.
- It doesn’t include the current lifestyle changes, people with high BMI are healthier than with those having low numbers. This is a proven fact in many countries.
We cannot differ from the fact that BMI is the widely used method, even many companies depending on BMI of the employees to decide on their health care payments. So the fact is we should improvise our concept of measuring obesity a step ahead of BMI.
The other possible ways to measure BMI are,
It is a tool to clamp sections of fat off the body and measure body composition accurately. It is done in various parts of the body like waist, thigh, back, and arms. It is done by professionals.
Our waist circumference is the main factor for measuring our health, in this method, the waist circumference is measured using tape . That value should be less than half of your height. For example, if you are 5 foot your waist should be less than 30 inches.
This measurement uses the concept of comparing a person’s normal body weight outside the water to the weight when submerged completely in water. This is considered to be the most accurate measurement of obesity by clinical researchers.
4.Waist to Hip ratio:
According to WHO, the abdominal obesity is common among most of the obese. This method uses the tape measurement of waist and hip. And by dividing the waist measure by the hip measure , the value determines the obesity condition.