Childhood Obesity Magazine

Childhood Obesity Magazine

Fatter And Fatter: The Definition Of Obesity

What is the definition of obesity? This is a serious concern for everyone who knows they are carrying a little extra baggage. Apparently this is more than half the population these days! An amazing 2/3 or 66% of American people are now overweight according to the Centers for Disease Control. And therein lies the problem. Obesity is now defined by the American Medical Association as a disease. So if you’re too fat and you’re wondering if you have crossed the line into obesity status keep reading.

Signs of obesity include first and foremost your weight obviously. Is your weight too much for a person of your age, body type and gender? If a woman is 20% above what is considered the normal range for her height then she is obese. Are you large boned, are you an athlete with a lot of muscle mass? Then give yourself a few pounds. What is considered a healthy weight for the average person? The chart below is based on a Body Mass Index of 20 – 25. These are considered healthy weights because they have the least risk for some of the diseases associated with obesity, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Height Weight

4’10″ 97 – 121

4’11″ 99 – 123

5’0″ 101 – 127

5’1″ 105 – 132

5’2″ 110 – 136

5’3″ 112 – 140

5’4″ 114 – 145

5’5″ 119 – 149

5’6″ 123 – 156

5’7″ 127 – 158

5’8″ 129 – 162

5’9″ 134 – 167

5’10″ 138 – 173

5’11″ 143 – 178

6’0″ 145 – 182

6’1″ 149 – 187

6’2″ 156 – 193

6’3″ 158 – 198

6’4″ 162 – 202

6’5″ 170 – 211

6’6″ 172 – 215

6’7″ 175 – 220

From Calorie, Fat & Carbohydrate Counter

Published by Family Health Publications

Because there is such a wide range it’s important to discuss your weight with your doctor and let him help you determine your health risks. Other signs of obesity are sleep apnea, hypertension, stress, incontinence, menstrual irregularities, excess facial hair and depression. If you decide to see a doctor, look for a doctor who understands the importance of eating according to the glycemic index who can individualize a weight loss program for you.

The chart above is for adults. If you believe your child is overweight you need to intervene in a serious way. According to the Health and Medical Research Foundation, in 1968 5% of all children were overweight. In 2004 the numbers had risen to 18% in children 6 years to 11 years old. For those between the ages of 12 years to 17 years 15% were overweight. In 40 years the number of overweight children has roughly tripled. One third of American Indian children are obese. Obesity is also more common in Latino and African American children. No doubt these childhood obesity statistics are due to poor choices, lack of parental supervision and perhaps a lack of affordable, nutritious food.

The health risks for obese children are immense. The Center for Disease Control has linked excess fat to 20 different health problems from high blood pressure to liver cancer. We know that poor diets and inactivity are the causes of obesity and overweight children usually become overweight and even obese adults. Today our children are more sedentary than any other generation and at the same time they are bombarded with television advertisements for unhealthy foods. We need to be vigilant about their nutrition and limiting foods with few nutrients and saturated fats.

What about fast food? Does fast food cause obesity? It is not a coincidence that in the years that the obesity statistics have risen so dramatically that the fast food industry now dominates our urban landscapes. Every corner it seems has a fast food restaurant. Even if parents have the best intentions with both parents working it’s a huge temptation to just do what is convenient. Fast foods are high glycemic foods that are full of trans fats, the worst saturated fats. French fries and hamburgers raise blood sugar and do not have enough nutrients to make them worth the calories. And they are full of calories! A quarter pounder with cheese has 530 calories with 270 calories being the saturated fat. So does fast food cause obesity? When you eat it often you are not getting a nutritious diet but one high in unhealthy fat.

Obesity is everyone’s problem because it adds to the burden of our health care system. Some other critical facts about obesity include the tremendous expense. According to a recent issue of Time magazine we spend an astonishing $147 billion a year on diet related illness. Cheap food and poor dietary choices extract an extremely high price in terms of being sick and more susceptible to disease. It may soon overtake tobacco as the leading cause of preventable death. It’s time to educate ourselves about the role of good nutrition in losing weight and maintaining the fat loss through a healthy lifestyle. Educate yourself so you can educate your children and be a healthy role model.

About the Author

Jan is a certified weight management advisor and integrative health consultant. You can read more of her articles on Lifetime Fat Loss. Read more about the cause of obesity.

Hope for Childhood Obesity —

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