What is obesity?

Obesity is caused by the accumulation of fat in the body. It can be easily recognized even by looking at a person. Obesity is more prevalent in developed countries compared to developing countries. However, obesity seems to be becoming a problem worldwide. Because the trend of obesity is increasing in developing countries like Sri Lanka.

As most people age, body fat gradually accumulates. Simply put, obesity is caused by eating more than the body needs. Depending on any person’s height, weight, age, and physical activity level, there is a certain amount of calories needed per day to provide energy to carry out daily activities. If more calories are consumed over a long period of time, obesity will result. This is because the extra calories consumed in excess of the calories required for daily activities are stored as fat in the body’s adipose tissue. Then, with the passage of time, such a person becomes overweight or obese. Not all obese people seem to eat more food than the average person eats every day. The reason they get fat is because they eat more calories than they normally need in a day.

What is Body Mass Index?

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure used to measure body shape and nutritional status. Its value depends on a person’s height and weight. A person’s weight is divided by the square of his or her height to measure body mass index. It is expressed in kilograms per square meter (kg/m2). Its value does not vary according to the age or gender of the person concerned. Body mass index gives a good measure of body fat percentage or obesity. Therefore, body mass index can be used to estimate risk factors associated with body weight. It helps in maintaining a healthy weight for body height.

body mass index,

  • Less than 18.5 – underweight
  • 18.5 – 24.9 – Optimal weight or healthy weight
  • 25 – 29.9 – overweight
  • 30 – 34.9 – Obese (first type)
  • 35 – 39.9 – Obese (Type II)
  • 40 or more – Obese (Type III)

The calculator below can be used to calculate your body mass index.

Knowing your body mass index is important. If you are already at a healthy weight, you need to maintain good health habits to maintain it. If your weight is in the overweight or obese zone, it is wise to gradually reduce the body weight until the optimal level. Otherwise, there is a significant risk of certain health problems.

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