Track Your Weight – Avoid being Overweight or Obese ! If you are overweight or obese, the most important thing is to be able to measure your body weight regularly. Then only your efforts to reduce body weight will be focussed and effective.
Are you fat or obese?
Many of you may have experienced this at some point of your life. Suddenly, your trousers feel too tight. The shirt bulges out in the middle, threatening to tear off the buttons ! After climbing few stairs, which was earlier an easy task, suddenly it seems like going up a steep hill. You are left panting, gasping for breath! Knees start to bend.
These are some of the signs that your weight is going up. You are becoming heavier and heavier. But many of us do not realize this. We rather accept this as natural.
But if this is true for you, then you need to be really alarmed as you may be classified as obese! Do not let this happen to you. Read on to know what first step you can take.
Obesity problem in the world – how grave it is?
Well, a new study published New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), show that one third of the world population (30 %+) —including adults and children—exceed a healthy measure of body weight. About 10% of people on earth are obese.
Thus about two billion people worldwide – around 30% – are overweight or obese.
How are Indians doing in obesity aspect?
Obesity in India has reached almost epidemic proportion and is going to affect about 5% of population (which is a good 6 Crore + people!).
Data released by the World Obesity Federation, a community of organizations dedicated to solving the problem of obesity, shows that Indian adults with obesity will jump ~ 5% (of total population) by 2025, from 3.7% in 2014.
Urban Indians are getting fatter and fatter. If you don’t check your body weight, you may be having a huge problem in your hands.
Even Indian children are becoming more obese than before!
Childhood obesity is also on the rise. India is having the second highest number of obese children in the world next to China, according to NEJM studies. Therefore, it is important for people and families in India to find ways to curb weight gain of their children too. So that they grow up and be in a healthy weight range.
After all, we all know how difficult it is to shed kilos, after we have piled them on for years!
How would I know if I am overweight, obese or okay?
The most common measure is calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI). This score can tell you if you are in a healthy weight range for your height or overweight or obese.
World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines internationally classify a BMI of 25, over which a person is considered overweight. However, unofficial Asian cut-off (including for Indians) point is 23. A BMI of over 30 is considered obese worldwide.
So, as an Indian if you below 23, then you are healthy; between 23 and 30, you are overweight, and beyond BMI of 30, you are obese.
Why BMI acceptable is lower for India?
Indians have a genetic tendency towards abdominal obesity. This is associated with higher risk of related lifestyle diseases such as Diabetes & Heart Diseases. Hence, acceptable BMI is lower at 23 kg/m2, over which a person is considered overweight . This is as per guidelines for diagnosis of obesity and abdominal obesity for India as published by a doctors body 2009.
Why is being fat or obese is bad?
Numerous studies have linked overweight and obesity to higher risk for various health complications. If you are overweight, obese or severely obese, you get more prone to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression, respiratory problems, major cancers and more.
Heavy body weight can also lead to early arthritic conditions, as weight comes down heavily on weakening bones of ageing body.
The same NEJM studies found that in 2015, there were 107 million children and 603 million adults with obesity. Having a high body mass index accounted for 4 million deaths in 2015, and more than two thirds of these deaths were from heart disease.
What are the main causes of being Fat?
Unhealthy, oily and fatty, processed food have become more accessible post India’s integration in global food markets. In India, intake of White bread, white rice, phulkas, oily and fatty snacks, …the overall intake of simple carbohydrates is large.
Rising middle class income in India is leading to higher caloric intake. Add to this our inactive modern sedentary (sitting) lifestyle both at home and office and we have perfect recipe for adding weight.
As the years go by, our metabolism (the process by which the body converts food into energy) slows down. The body collects more fat. For the same level of diet and activity, we tend to put on more weight. This happens everywhere, but we experience it more acutely because we don’t maintain a level of physical activity as we get older
Third is a mind-set issue in India. In India, people associate being fat with prosperity and ability to eat luxuriously. People say prosperity shows in the middle. So when you lose weight, become slim and fit, even your own parents and relatives may start wondering if you are having some health issues.
How is BMI calculated?
Body Mass Index (or BMI) is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres, and then dividing the result again by your height.
BMI = Weight in kilograms / (Height in meters) 2
For example, if your weight is 65 kilograms and your height is 5 feet 5 inches, your BMI will be calculated as follows:
65 / (1.65 X 1.65 ) = 65/2.7225 = 23.9
(5 feet 5 inches is equal to 5X12+5 = 65 inches = 65X 2.54 cm = 165.1 cm, which is equal to 165.1/100 meter or 1.65 mtr approx.)
For Indians it is advisable that the BMI be not more than 23. Hence, in this example, person is slightly overweight.
How I can use my BMI score?
BMI is an approximate measure of fat in the body. It tells you whether you need to lose weight or not.
However, we need to keep certain finer points in mind, while looking at the BMI score. Some adults may be having a healthy range of weight but may have belly fat or skin folds in their bodies. They will have less muscle and more fat.
However, if you are an athlete or an overall active person, then body weight or BMI can be a bit higher. This is because of dense muscle rather than loose or hanging fat. Therefore, it is not unhealthy, as there are no health risks associated with this higher BMI reading.
Please note that normal BMI range is not applicable to pregnant and breast feeding mothers.
What can I do to avoid being fat?
The most important thing is to know if you are in healthy range of weight or not. For this, you need to measure and monitor your weight on a regular basis. Weighing yourself on a scale weekly, fortnightly or monthly is good idea. Having a digital weighing scale at home definitely helps in monitoring relative weights of the family members.
Once you know your weight, you can calculate your BMI and check how much weight you will need to reduce. Then only you can work towards regulating your diet: your food intake should be in line with your age, metabolism and physical work or exercises.
Third, you can do physical exercises to burn extra fat and tone up your body.
Regularly measure body weight of your children too.
Your children are getting obese. This is again due to junk food habits and lack of exercises/ sports for today’s urban/ semi urban children. The ever-present TVs and smartphones have taken all their physical time away and dumped it into their sofas, bed and couches.
In this backdrop, it is good that India’s premier national school board CBSE is now making it mandatory to have health education and sports periods for Class 9th to 12th.
Which weighing scale is better for measuring body weight ?
Analog scales are old time mechanical scales and work on spring mechanism. They can wear and tear, giving sometimes wrong estimates.
Digital scales on the other hand have better accuracy and easier to read. It is quite consistent. You should have a digital bathroom scale (you can keep them anywhere, not necessarily in bathroom!).
Shop online for digital weighing scale today!
We have selected top digital weighing bathroom scale (which usually can measure up to 180 Kgs. We have looked at design, build quality, company / brand and product / user reviews.
Omron is a good brand and has a wide range of weighing scales in different styles and colours –>
Our modern sitting lifestyle and unhealthy fatty food habits have resulted in many of us gaining more than normal weight. Numerous studies have shown that overweight can lead to greater chance of diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), heart diseases, depression, respiratory/ breathing problems and even cancers.
Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you keep a check on your body weight on a regular basis.
Wishing you a healthy and fit body … and life !