Disease And Illness - Other

The Link between Waist Circumference Body Mass Index Bmi and Obesity



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The body mass index (BMI) has long been used as a measurement for obesity. It calculates using a person's height and weight. An adult with a BMI greater than 25 is said to be overweight while an adult with BMI greater than 30 is said to be obese. Such measurement is important to know the person's risk for developing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and other potential health problems.  However, the BMI is not enough to determine obesity. Heavily muscled and physically fit persons, like athletes, can have a BMI of 32. When muscles take the place of the fats, it carries much more body mass. It would be inaccurate to label such healthy individuals as overweight. This shows that BMI cannot determine the amount of body fat a person has.

Because of the limitations of the BMI, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute adds waist measurement as one indicator of whether a person has a healthy weight or not. Using a tape measure, waist circumference is determined by wrapping it around the area between the hips and ribcage while keeping the tape snug - neither tight nor loose.  Waist circumference should be below 35 cm. for women and 40 for men.  The waist circumference is taken into consideration because most body fat settles around the abdomen.  Studies show that people with more abdominal fat content are in greater risk of being obese.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there is 26.7% prevalence in the United States. It has been identified as a "national health threat and major public health challenge." Obesity poses a lot of health problems and it can affect the overall well-being of an individual. It is discovered that a diet high in fat can result to erratic glucose production in the liver that can lead to insulin resistance. Cardiovascular diseases commonly result from atherosclerosis, which is the thickening of the arterial walls dues to blockage of fat. Obesity is associated with a different type of cancers. Obese people have difficulty sleeping.  Pickwickan syndrome is the condition where obese people have difficulty breathing resulting to fluctuating blood-oxygen levels, thus stressing the heart.

Since obesity is associated with different types of diseases, it is important to maintain a healthy weight and a small waist circumference. Reducing fat and carbohydrates can help reduce caloric intake, which is essential to weight loss. Changes in the diet should be paired with increased physical activity. This will increase metabolism which gives a person more energy and better heart and lungs. Having a healthy lifestyle can improve the quality of life of an individual, and overall well-being will greatly improve.

Sources:

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/obe/obe_whatare.html

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/ms/ms_prevention.html

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090621143236.htm

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2010/535918.html

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm59e0803a1.htm?s_cid=mm59e0803a1_e%0D%0A




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