Thursday, February 5, 2009

Obese or Overweight, which is it?

You hear ALL THE TIME about how obesity is running rampant across the world and in the United States mainly.

You get stats like over 33% of American adults are obese. And 16% of children too.

And those stats are incorrect. BUT you have to understand the definition of obese.

Obesity is measured by calculating your body mass index (bmi) which is figured out by putting your weight and height into a couple boxes and spits out your bmi.

Now there are multiple problems with this.

First, it doesn't differentiate between men and women. And we all now that men and women are not created equal when it comes to body style and size. A 5'8" woman who weighs 140 lbs is fine BUT most guys that are 5'8" are probably closer to 170 lbs and they would be classified as overweight EVEN though neither looks overweight.

Second, even people of the same sex are built differently. Some people (like myself) have broad shoulders and can carry more weight without being too out of shape. While others who are the same height don't have the shoulder width.

Myself and one of my good friends are like that. We are both about 6'3" but my ideal weight is probably around 220 (I am not there by the way) while his is probably 195-200 because he doesn't have the overall mass to his body.

And the final HUGE problem with calculating your bmi is that is DOES NOT take muscle mass into effect. So if you are a decently built human being with good muscle definition you might be overweight.

FOR EXAMPLE:: Troy Polamalu (image below) is 207 lbs and 5'10". Which if calculating his bmi means he is ALMOST obese. Actually if he puts on 3 pounds he would be TECHNICALLY obese. Now does this man look obesed to you?

No he doesn't.

Another example:

LaDainian Tomlinson is a running back for the Chargers for any of you that didn't know. He is 5'10" 221lbs. And he is obese!!

Seriously this is all fact. Go to this site to check your bmi and it gives you the ranges for different levels.

Honestly if you are concerned with getting into shape or just want to know if you could do more than use your body fat percentage.

This will actually take into account your age, sex, and body style. For guys you have to measure your waist, hips, wrist, and forearm. For all the ladies out there you measure your hips, calf, thigh, and waist.

Go to this site to check your body fat percentage. And go here to see what a healthy level of body fat is.

And the next time you hear about the obesity rates in this country remember that Troy Polamalu is only 3 pounds from being obese and LaDainian Tomlinson is obese.


Matt said...

I hate the chargers...

so yeah, he looks like a fatty to me.

{i}Post said...

I had the same issue when the GYN told me that I was obese and I am a 5'9" female (obviously if I went to the GYN...) and I weight 170 lbs.

Yes, I was overweight about 20 lbs (which I have since lost) but it was horrifying to hear that I was OBESE!

GM said...

To those people who don't know where the doctors get the term "obese" it would be a shock to them. It isn't as much weight as you would think it is.

Congrats on losing the weight!!

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