Measuring Obesity

Monday, 7 April 2014

We are getting busy due to more working hours and cause less time to do physical activity. Otherwise, technology has changed our lifestyle to be less active. Television and computers make us to stick on the chairs for longer time without help us to reduce weight. Most of us know if we are overweight, it is either by looking in mirror or tightness of our clothes. Or else, you may take a look at the chart below to check your weight and height.

If you are in ‘Ideal’ section, there should be no worry but you have to maintain your healthy eating. If you are in ‘overweight’ or ‘very overweight’ sections, you have to think wisely about to lose some weight. Your long term goal should be in the ‘ideal’ section and reduction of 10% of body weight in 6 months. Achieving a moderate loss is beneficial. For example, obese persons who lose 5% - 10% of initial body weight are likely to improve blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. For your short term goal, you may set losing 0.5kg - 1kg per week. This can be achieved by reducing daily energy by 500 – 1000 kcal every day.

A combination of reduced calorie diet and physical activity can be greater initial weight loss. Do physical activity 150 minutes per week. Moderate activities like brisk walking, cycling, yoga, dancing and gardening are encouraged to do. These activities may burn 3.5 – 7.0 kcal/min. Examples of vigorous activities are jogging, running, heavy housework and jumping rope. These activities may burn more than 7.0 kcal/min.

You also can simply measure your waist by using measuring tape. Find the top of your hip bones and bottom of your ribs. Then, breathe out normally. Place the measuring tape midway between the two points and wrap it around your waist. Read the measurement and record it. If your measurement is more than 35 inches (88cm) for women or more than 40 inches (102 cm) for men, it shows an independent risk factor for disease. High waist circumference and fat percentage are significantly predictors of heart failure and other risks associated with obesity. However, according to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 2009, this measurement is not suitable for those people who less than 60 inches tall or with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or above.

Measure you weight and waist frequently. Make sure there is a reduction every time you do your measurement. You might want to get fitter, better shape, look gorgeous, more confident, feel better and be able to get into your clothes which no longer fit. In terms of health, you might reduce the risks of complications of obesity like diabetes, heart disease, hyperlipidemia, high blood pressure, stroke and cancers.

A Guide to Losing Weight for Men and Women. (2009). British Heart Foundation.
Medical Nutrition Therapy Guidelines for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, 2nd Edition. Ministry of Health Malaysia and Malaysian Dietitians Association.


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