Obesity means you have too much body fat, aka adipose tissue, to be considered healthy for your particular height. Every body has some adipose tissue because it serves the vital function of storing energy. This stored energy allows for your body’s fluctuating metabolic demands to be met at any given time, for instance during periods of activity, fasting or starvation.
However, obesity indicates the storage of this necessary energy has tipped beyond everyday needs into the realm of a potential health detriment. The excessive storage of fat, particularly around your waist where vital organs are housed within your abdominal cavity, interferes with functional efficiency of organs, e.g. heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and skin, and systems, e.g. cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous. And this is one of the primary links by which obesity leads to various health consequences.
There is a subtle, yet substantial, difference between being obese or overweight. Being obese means your body is in the state of storing too much fat. Being overweight means the number on a scale is above what’s been determined to be normal for your height.
You can be fit and overweight because a higher percentage of your weight may be in muscle than the norm. In the alternative, you can be a within your normal weight range and have too high a percentage of adipose tissue. So, being overweight is not necessarily unhealthy, whereas being obese always is.
The ideal test for obesity is to determine if you have a high amount of extra fat rather than whether you are overweight. To obtain the most precise measurement of excess fat requires the use of some expensive equipment, not found in most folks home.
As an alternative, the health community encourages the use of the body mass index, aka BMI, to determine if you’re overweight or obese. Essentially, the higher your BMI, the higher your risk of disease. In addition, BMI provides an estimate of body fat for gaging the point of entry into the obesity classification. Here’s an online BMI calculator to figure out your BMI.
Abdominal obesity, or waist fat, is of particular concern when making a weight related determination about your health risks. A waist measurement just above your hipbone that’s greater than 35 inches for women or 40 inches for men is the point of demarcation for overweight and obese related health risks.
So what are those health risks of obesity? Being overweight or obese puts you at risk for several diseases and health conditions, specifically:
- sleep apnea
- type 2 diabetes
- metabolic syndrome
- arthritis, osteoarthritis
- high fasting blood sugar
- coronary artery disease
- breathing issues ~ Pickwickian syndrome
- certain cancers ~ colon, breast, endometrial, gallbladder, ovarian, kidney
- reproductive problems ~ menstrual irregularity, infertility, PCOS, uterine fibroids
- abnormal blood fat levels ~ high LDL (“bad”) & low levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol
The more body fat you have the more likely you are to develop these conditions, along with all their associated health problems. And if you are obese, just losing 5 to 10 percent of your body fat weight can delay or prevent some.
For many, being overweight or obese results from eating more calories than their body can use. However, there are other causes for obesity that sometimes requires weight loss treatment beyond balancing calories-in versus calories-out.
Being overweight or obese isn’t about how you look, it’s about how healthy you feel today and your serious health risks spanning into the future. Ergo, take the steps necessary to shed your obesity causing cellulite before it’s too late.