Are you overweight? What is overweight anyways?

May 12, 2009

Health & Motivation

Overweight is a much more frequent medical condition than obesity in the general population. Overweight is the first step towards obesity. Regardless of the fact that overweight is much more frequent there are fewer known facts about it.

Overweight is a medical term used to indicate the state of a person having more adipose tissue than it is needed for the normal functioning of the body. Excess fat and excess pounds is a specific characteristic for many people. It can even be considered a problem of national, if not global, interest. The overweight population of the USA is around 65% of its total population. The bad news is that it is on the rise.

The Wikipedia definition of obesity is:” Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse affect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy”.


Few people know what the right percentage of body fat is. A healthy woman should have 20% to 25% body fat and a healthy man should have 15% to 18% body fat. These quantities are needed by your body so it can function properly. If you have less fat then your hormonal, reproductive and immunity system might suffer from the lack of fat in the body.

All the body fat contained between those limits is essential body fat. Everything that is over the top limit are fat deposits that are used by your body as a energy storage facility. This second type of fat is usually localized just behind the skin, and in small quantities around the internal organs.

A small quantity of excess body fat is actually useful and healthy for your body to have. It is a great thermal insulator, a shock absorbent and an energy deposit that can be used when needed. But too much body fat makes you overweight.

There are more ways to measure your quantity of body fat but the most common one is the body mass index. The body mass index method compares your weight and height to an ideal standard that you should fit. Unfortunately the body mass index isn’t that great of a way to calculate if you are overweight or not. If you have the means I recommend going to a specialist that will conduct all the necessary tests to establish for real if you are overweight or not and what your ideal weight really is.

If you want to go on a weight loss program my advice is to always consult with a good qualified doctor first. That way you will know what you have to do and you will be able to set realistic goals.

You can Find out your ideal weight and why it might not matter and consult the BMI table from there for more information.

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