The University of Melbourne in Australia released a study finding that 40% of parents whose children are overweight or underweight report that they believe their children are in the normal range; and that parents were more likely to report that their sons were underweight and that their girls were overweight.
This indicates that there are many parents out there who do not know if their kids are overweight. This brings up the question, do we know if we are overweight or obese? Does this misconception about who is overweight and who is not transfer to the way we look at ourselves? What do the terms overweight and obese really mean and am I either of these?
Gaging your Weight
Approximately two-thirds of American adults are obese, and another third are overweight. This means more than 60 percent of adults are struggling with their weight, and with the majority of people above a healthy weight level the perception of who is overweight and who is not can begin to grow blurry. Many people who are of a healthy weight range are now looked at as excessively thin. Those who are only moderately overweight are considered of a normal stature.
The perception of what is healthy is gradually shifting, but that doesn’t change what is actually healthy and how our bodies react to excess weight. Along with increased weight levels, the rate of obesity related diseases are also on the rise.
The most common way to determine if you are overweight is to figure out your BMI or body mass index. BMI is an index used to determine weight categories. Standards show that if you have a BMI over 30, you are categorized as obese, over 25 and less than 30 is overweight and between 20 and 25 is normal weight. BMI is calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared.
Those with a higher BMI are at an increased risk for developing obesity related illnesses, including:
- Type-2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- High Cholesterol
- Metabolic Syndrome
More important than determining if you fit in the category of overweight or obesity is that if you are at least overweight, you consider doing something to decrease your weight. Ask yourself if you are comfortable at your current weight and if not, speak to your physician regarding your options for weight loss.