The easiest way is to use scales and find out how much you weigh. But the actual weight says little about "how you are" - whether the weight is normal or if you are already overweight or even obese.
To categorize the weight and to assess the risk of complications associated with obesity the most often used method is Body Mass Index (BMI). To calculate BMI, it is necessary to know your current weight and height.
BMI calculation is performed according to the following formula:
BMI = body weight (kg) / body height (m) 2
The lowest risk of health complications is when BMI values are from 18,5 to 24,9. Your BMI should be within this range most of your life. But keep in mind, with increasing of age the amount of adipose tissue is higher. Therefore, it is pointless to want to have the same weight at the age of sixty as at your wedding ceremony forty years ago.
Health risks according to BMI (classification according to WHO and the International Obesity Task Force)
class I obesity
class II obesity
class III obesity
Values lower than 18,5 indicate being underweight. Being underweight often has concomitant serious diseases (eg. Gastrointestinal diseases, cancer). Also it is always necessary to consider eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia). Low body weight leads to many health problems (fatigue, female menstrual cycle disorders and infertility, osteoporosis, weakened immunity, with significant underweight being life threatening).
BMI values in the range 25-29,9 are in the area of overweight. Being overweight is associated with only moderate health risks. Still it is not good to be entirely comfortable with that. Even a few extra kilos can often cause problems of dissatisfaction with the body, holding repeated diet and overeating. This kind of behaviour may result in the emergence of anxiety and depression, because after each overeating followed by remorse, for example "I will never be slim". And a solution for this is sometimes to overeat again because "why not?” In this case, it is the best to stop pitying yourself and start to do something. Try to think about your eating habits and exercise habits, to make a positive change you only need to do a little.
BMI over 30 indicates obesity. Health risks of obesity are already strong, with the stipulation that the higher level of BMI, the greater risk of health complications. Obese people, compared to people with normal weight, have up to 5 times higher risk of elevated blood fats, 5 times higher risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases and up to 7 times higher risk of diabetes.
BMI over 40 are alarming in terms of health and pronounced weight reduction is therefore indispensable.
However, BMI says nothing about body composition. To determine the percentage of body fat special equipment is used that operates on the principle of bioelectrical impedance (BIA). BIA measures the body composition on the basis of the determination of the resistance of the body when the current passes through at low intensity and high frequency. Instruments used will vary depending on where the electrodes are placed and between which the stream. To make the objective measurement result it is important to use the same device.
To assess the health risks of obesity, it is not enough to establish the degree of being overweight and the total amount of fat, as the distribution of body fat also plays a major role. Fat distribution can be used to differentiate between two types of obesity - less dangerous feminine type of obesity (or pear-shaped obesity), where fat is preferentially deposited in the buttocks and thighs and a male type of obesity (or apple-shaped obesity), where fat is accumulated mainly in abdominal area. In terms of health complications severe male type of obesity is worse because belly fat is more metabolically active.
A simple indicator of fat distribution is the body's waistline. Measure your waist midway between the bottom edge of the lower ribs and the upper edge of the pelvic bone. Put the measuring tape in the horizontal plane (like a belt).
The risk of metabolic and circulatory complications associated with obesity (WHO, 1997)
over 94 cm
over 102 cm
over 80 cm
over 88 cm
Will Any Weight Loss Surgery Help?
Weight loss surgery can bring many benefits, in addition to the main goal of weight loss, including improvements in health, wellbeing and quality of life.
The primary benefit of weight loss surgery is to lose weight. On average bariatric surgery can result in a 50 to 70 percent reduction in excess body weight over three years. The amount of weight lost after surgery depends on the type of operation, your lifestyle and eating habits.
Morbid obesity can affect the quality of your health and it’s been linked to several serious and life-threatening diseases. These co-morbid conditions include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, gastroesophageal disease (GERD), obstructive sleep apnoea, severe arthritis and asthma. Steady weight loss following bariatric surgery often improves these health problems.
Most people after weight loss surgery gradually have more energy and a more active lifestyle. Having the energy and being able to do more can have a knock on effect in many areas of your life both psychologically and physically.
Often after bariatric surgery, a patient’s social and emotional wellbeing will improve and often result in feeling less depressed. Finding it easier to move around, exercise and join in different activities alongside the positive impact of actually losing pounds, that you have not been able to lose before, can make you feel better about yourself, more fulfilled and confident. This can ripple throughout your life and you may feel capable of being more productive on a daily basis or achieving in areas such as your career.