Healthy and Unhealthy Weight, How do you know the difference?

More than 1 of 3 American adults are at an unhealthy weight, and their risk of developing certain diseases is greater because of the excess weight.

There are five classes of weight: underweight, acceptable weight, overweight, obesity, and morbid obesity (the most over weight class).

This classification system has been developed because there is strong scientific evidence that people is classes other than “acceptable weight’ are more likely to have health problems. The more over weight you are the greater the chances of developing diabetes or high blood pressure can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.

The best way to check whether you are at a healthy or unhealthy weight is to determine your body mass index (BMI), using an on line BMI calculator. These guild lines are good but they are not foolproof. For example, muscle weights more than fat, so it is possible to be extremely fit and have a weight at the top weight chart for your height.

BMI Interpretation:

Underweight – BMI Under 18.5
Normal – BMI 18.5 – 24
Overweight – BMI 25 – 29
Obese – BMI 30 and over

People who carry their weight around their midsection (giving you an apple like shape) are at greater health risk than people who carry the same amount of weight mainly around their hips, buttocks and thighs.

In contrast people who carry excess weight below the waist in the hips, buttocks, and thighs, (giving you a pear like shape), the risk of excess weight is lower. There are some theories as to why it is better to be like a pear rather that an apple, but it remains a mystery.

Why is the population getting heavier?

Over the past 20 years, people have increasingly used sugar free sweeteners and cut down on the percent of total calories that come from fat. In addition, various fat substitutes have become available. You would think this would mean the average weight of the population is going down. In fact, it continues to go up.

Why is this? The simple explanation is we are eating more. Though more of the food eaten maybe sugar free or low fat, the total number of calories being consumed is going up. Though we are using lots of sugar free foods, we are eating more sugar, and though we are eating more low fat foods, we are eating more total fat.

Experts speculate that sugar free foods have increased our appetite for sweets, real sugar, and rich sweets. We also tend to fool ourselves into thinking that sugar free or fat free have no calories. While that is nearly true for some sugar free soft drinks, it is not true for pudding, crackers, coffee cakes, and other foods that are sugar free or at free.

People are also eating in restaurants more frequently, and restaurant meals typically contain many more calories and fat than home cooked meals.

If you need to lose weight look for a program that emphasizes slow weight loss, no more than 2 pounds a week.

Popular News: