The terms “obese” and “overweight” are labels used to categorize people into ranges that are helpful in identifying those who are heavier than what is generally healthy. To determine whether or not one falls into one of the two categories medical professionals use the Body Mass Index (BMI), a number that takes into account a person’s height and weight, which is then compared to a chart that identifies weight ranges. The BMI is used because it tends to accurately correlate with the amount of body fat a person possesses.
Here is how to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI):
Go to the gym frequently but are still considered overweight?
It’s always important to remember that even though BMI correlates with the amount of body fat, BMI does not directly measure body fat. As a result, some people, such as athletes, may have a BMI that identifies them as overweight even though they do not have excess body fat.
Other things to consider:
BMI is just one indicator of potential health risks associated with being overweight or obese. For assessing someone’s likelihood of developing overweight- or obesity-related diseases, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute guidelines recommend looking at two other predictors:
- The individual’s waist circumference (because abdominal fat is a predictor of risk for obesity-related diseases).
- Other risk factors the individual has for diseases and conditions associated with obesity (for example, high blood pressure or physical inactivity).
Watch how and what you eat!
When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight for a lifetime, the bottom line is – calories count! Weight management is all about balance – balancing the number of calories you consume with the number of calories your body uses or “burns off.”
- A calorie is defined as a unit of energy supplied by food. A calorie is a calorie regardless of its source. Whether you’re eating carbohydrates, fats, sugars, or proteins, all of them contain calories.
- Caloric balance is like a scale. To remain in balance and maintain your body weight, the calories consumed (from foods) must be balanced by the calories used (in normal body functions, daily activities, and exercise).
Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
For the Youth
Information provided by the Hong Kong Department of Health
Children grow quickly and are physically active. They require nutrients and energy. Healthy snacks help replenish the water and energy lost during learning as well as exercising, and help children obtain enough nutrients. On the other hand, overeating and unhealthy choices of snacks lead to excessive energy intake, which in turn result in weight gain with negative health impact. Frequent snacking can also make a child lose appetite for main meals. Therefore, snacks for children should be provided in accordance with the principles of healthy eating.
Be a Smart Eater
According to the principle of the Food Pyramid, foods are divided into five main groups including grains and cereals, vegetables, fruit, meat and dairy projects. They serve as both basic components of main meals and choices of healthy snacks.
- Eat snacks only if he or she feels hungry between main meals.
- Snack between main meals and avoid overeating. At least having 1.5-2 hours between two intakes.
- Snacks should be small so they don’t spoil the child’s appetite for the next main meal.
- Choose fresh and natural food.
- Follow the principles of ‘low-fat’, ‘low-sugar’, ‘low-salt’ and ‘high-fiber’ eating.
- Choose mainly cereals, fruit and vegetables such as whole-wheat bread, high-fiber whole-meal biscuits as well as fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Select dairy products including low-fat or skimmed milk, low-fat plain yogurt or cheese.
- Avoid unhealthy snacks that are high in sugar, salt and fat.
- Prepare water as drink.
Obesity: Did You Know?
- Obesity can shorten your life by 9 years
- Men waist sizes are set to increase to 40 inches by 202.
- An estimated 70 percent of diabetes risk in the United States is a result of excess weight
- Eating the equivalent of a bag of chips every day (or 135 calories) extra can result in more than 10 pounds of extra weight gain per year