Obesity In The U.S. Is Worse Than We Thought

Health officials now believe that we have underestimated the rates in obesity in the U.S.

The BMI (Body Mass Index), commonly used to measure obesity, gives an incomplete picture of a person’s physical condition.

BMI, the researchers say, is an overly simplistic measure that often misrepresents physical fitness and overall health, especially among older women. Nearly 4 in 10 adults whose BMI places them in the overweight category would be considered obese if their body fat percentage were taken into account, according to the study.
“Some people call it the ‘baloney mass index,'” says lead author Eric Braverman, M.D., president of the Path Foundation, a nonprofit organization in New York City dedicated to brain research.
Bodybuilders can be classified as obese based on their BMI, he says, while “a 55-year-old woman who looks great in a dress could have very little muscle and mostly body fat, and a whole lot of health risks because of that — but still have a normal BMI.”

Not All Obese People Need to Lose Weight

Some people manage to carry extra weight yet maintain active lives with no risk factors associated with obesity.

Use this guide to measure the 5 stages of obesity.

Stage 0: No apparent obesity-related risk factors (e.g., high blood pressure, cholesterol and/or glucose levels), no physical symptoms or limitations.

Stage 1: Subclinical risk factors such as borderline hypertension, mild physical symptoms such as shortness of breath with moderate exertion.

Stage 2: Presence of obesity-related chronic disease such as hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and osteoarthritis with moderate limitations on activities of daily living.

Stage 3: Established end-stage organ damage such as heart attack or stroke with significant functional limitations.

Stage 4: Severe disabilities from obesity-related chronic diseases.

Read more to maintain your health at any weight.

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