Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Body mass index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults.
Body Mass Index
- People are divided into healthy or unhealthy weight categories based on a universally-adopted measure dubbed Body Mass Index (BMI) — a ratio of weight-to-height squared.
- A healthy BMI ranges from 18.5 to 24.9.
- One is considered underweight below 18.5, overweight from 25 up, and obese from 30 — when the risk of diabetes, stroke, heart disease and some cancers escalates massively.
- With a BMI of 35 one is categorized as severely obese, and from 40 upward as morbidly so.
Raised BMI is a major risk factor for noncommunicable diseases such as:
- cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke;
- musculoskeletal disorders (especially osteoarthritis – a highly disabling degenerative disease of the joints);
- some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon).
Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is used as a last resort to treat people who are dangerously obese (having a body mass index of 40 or above or 35 plus other obesity-related health conditions).