A World Health Organization (WHO) report in May 2019 said the number of obese people in the world has nearly tripled in the last 40 years, and around 50 per cent of the adult population were either overweight or obese.
India secured the third position on WHO’s Global Obesity Index 2019 — the USA and China were at number one and two, respectively. The prevalence of obesity is more likely in women than men. Studies have even found that a severely obese person’s life expectancy reduces by as much as 20 years in men and about 5 years in women.
While the Body Mass Index (BMI) has been surrounded by various controversies about its accuracy, the simple math formula can help adults interpret if they are underweight, normal, overweight or obese.
The BMI can be derived by dividing a person’s weight (in kilogrammes) with the square of the height (in metres).
BMI = weight (in kg) / height x height (in metre)
The WHO classifies an adult as overweight or obese depending on the calculation:
- BMI > 25 = overweight
- BMI > 30 = obesity
The BMI level for being overweight and obesity is same for adult men as well as adult women.
For men and women, a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is normal. Anything under 18.5 is considered underweight, and between 24.9 and 30 as overweight.
However, the American Diabetes Association had earlier said that Indians should start worrying once their BMI reaches 22, as the BMI cut-off for South Asians must be 23.
The BMI calculator is a great tool to achieve fitness goals. But professional athletes and those who want to have a long career in the field mustn’t blindly follow the BMI calculator.
The measurement tool has its flaws. Professional athletes like Usain Bolt, Tom Brady, LeBron James have higher BMI scores because the tool cannot separate muscle (lean tissue) content from body fat.
World Health Day: Keep Lifestyle Diseases Like Hypertension, Diabetes & Obesity At Bay
Here’s To A Happy Life
One year into the pandemic, our lives have become more sedantary than ever. Aspects like long working hours, lethargy, poor dietary habits and no physical activity are pushing people towards a number of lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart problems, among others.
These lifestyle diseases can be prevented with help of a a strict regime and necessary precautions. Here’s a look at tips to deal with these diseases.