Nov 172009

am i overweightWith the increasing awareness of the overweight and obesity related risks, there are more and more people becoming conscious of their weight.

Easy way to answer the question is ‘Am I Overweight’ is to find out whether the BMI (Body Mass Index) is 25 or more. Except for athletes and sportsperson, a BMI of more than 25 means overweight.

The formula of calculation of BMI is:

BMI = {Weight in Pounds / (Height in Inches)²}  X  703

Approximately, two thirds of Americans are overweight and adults have BMI more than 25. Since the risks associated with obesity is very high, it’s important to know about how much a person’s weighs above the prescribed limit. Even with BMI in the normal range, it’s important to know about the weight distribution. A person with BMI in normal range could have thin legs and arms and have extra weight in the tummy. If the stomach bears the excess weight then there is danger of heart disease and other illness. Over weight Calculator and BMI formulas are ways for correct information. To narrow down the area of excess weight, the following information could be very useful.

Fat Distribution: To check if the excess weight is in the abdomen, with an inch tape the distance around the smallest area below the rib cage and above the belly button should be measured. 40 inches or less in men and 35 inches or less in women indicates safe zone.  Waist hip ratio can be used to determine the excess weight too. The waist should be measured as above and the hip should be measured as the largest area of the buttocks. Waist measurement /hip measurement would give the ratio. For women 0.8 ratio is safe, while for men its 0.9. These numbers are for people above 5 feet tall.

Body Fat Ratio: To stay healthy and fit, there should be reduction in weight and body fat as well. Body fat percentage can be taken to determine whether a person is overweight or not. Human body needs certain amount of fat which should be below 10-12% for women and for men below 2-4%.  The body fat measures for men could range from 6% to 25% while for women it could be from 14% to 31%.  Illustrating this with example will help to understand the BMI and Body Fat
Percentage better.

A woman with 25% body fat would have 37.5 pounds of fat. Losing 20 pounds of fat will leave 17.5 pounds of fat and weight 130 pounds and a body fat percentage of 13%. Thus body fat percentage gives an accurate picture of how much fat should be lost. In this case, this women needs to loose not 20 pounds but 10 pounds of fat. That would leave her with 27.5 pounds of fat and 140 pounds of weight and 20% body fat which would keep her in safe zone.

There are scales that measure weight along with body fat percentage. Body fat calipers can used to give more accurate picture. An advice of a doctor or a fitness specialist helps a lot in this regard .