Prevention of Overweight & Obesity
Obesity is now a true epidemic and public health crisis that both clinicians and patients must face. Normal body weight is defined as a body mass index, calculated as the weight in kilograms divided by the height in meters squared, of less than 25; overweight is defined as a BMI = 25.0 -29.9, and obesity as a BMI greater than 30. Between 1980 and 2013, there was an 8% increase worldwide in the proportion of men and women with a BMI greater than 25. The most recent national data reveal that one- third of adults in the United States are obese, and prevalence rates are higher in blacks and Hispanics compared to none- His-panic whites.
Risk assessment of the overweight and obese patient begins with the determination of BMI, waist circumference for those with a BMI of 35 or less, a presence of comorbid conditions and a fasting blood glucose and lipid panel.
Causes of Overweight and Obesity
Overweight and obesity result from an energy imbalance. The body needs a certain amount of energy (calories) from food to keep up basic life functions. Body weight tends to remain the same when the number of calories eaten equals the number of calories the body uses or “burns.” Over time, when people eat and drink more calories than they burn, the energy balance tips toward weight gain, overweight, and obesity.
Children need to balance their energy, too, but they are also growing and that should be considered as well. Energy balance in children happens when the amount of energy taken in from food or drink and the energy being used by the body support natural growth without promoting excess weight gain. Many factors can lead to energy imbalance and weight gain. They include genes, eating habits, how and where people live, attitudes and emotions, life habits, and income.
|BMI of Adults Age 20 and Older|
|18.5 to 24.9||Normal weight|
|25 to 29.9||Overweight|
|40 +||Extreme obesity|
For adults, overweight and obesity ranges are measured by using weight and height to compute the person’s BMI. The BMI is used because, for most people, it correlates with the amount of fat in their bodies.
Children grow at different rates at different times, so it is not always easy to tell if a child is overweight. BMI charts for children compare their height and weight to other children of their same sex and age.
|BMI of Children and Adolescents Ages 2 – 19|
|At or above the 85th percentile||Overweight or obese|
|At or above the 95th percentile||Obese|