Millions of people are struggling with weight issues. Some are simply overweight, while others are obese. What is the definition of obesity? How does one know if they are obese, morbidly obese or just overweight? What’s the difference? Is it really that important? Maintaining a healthy weight is vital. Taking the time to learn the difference between being a healthy weight, overweight, obese or morbidly obese could save your life.
We’re not talking super model thin. This is about maintaining the right percentage of body fat. For men, a healthy percentage of body fat is 25% or under. For women, body fat should be 33% or less. Your doctor can easily estimate your body fat percentage. You can also calculate it yourself. Knowing your body fat percentage will tell you which category you fall into.
Calculating Body Fat
According to emedicine, “The body fat percentage can be estimated by using the Deurenberg equation, as follows: body fat percentage = 1.2(BMI) + 0.23(age) – 10.8(sex) – 5.4, where age is in years and sex is 1 for male and 0 for female. This equation has a standard error of 4% and accounts for approximately 80% of the variation in body fat.”
Interestingly enough, you can be overweight, without being obese. This is because not all body weight comes from fat. So, if you step on the scale and see your weight has risen, even though you have increased your exercise routine and are eating sensibly, don’t panic. Your extra weight could be muscle, which weighs more than fat.
In order to be considered obese, male body fat percentage must be over 25%. For women, that figure is 33%. Some people are alright with being slightly over the optimum body fat percentages. Actually, if your body fat percentage is just creeping over those figures, now is the time to act. Waiting until you are well over the margins can make it much more difficult to lose body fat.
A person is considered morbidly obese when their body fat is between 40 and 50%. If your body fat is over the 50% mark, you are considered to be super obese. Either of these classifications can be life threatening. Body fat build up can lead to blocked arteries and other very serious threats to your health. Being severely overweight is a strain on your entire body. Take the time to learn where your body fat percentage lies to maintain optimum health.