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Study shows US obesity is much worse than we though

Study shows US obesity is much worse than we thought

Based on the traditional measurement of Body-Mass Index (BMI), about one-third of Americans are obese. But new research shows that using more accurate, health-adjusted measurements of obesity, that number may be closer to 60 percent.

BMI only calculates weight related to height but says nothing about body fat percentage or where fat is located. When you measure your waist circumference and your body fat percentage, you get a much more accurate measurement of your risk of obesity-related diseases. You also have a better fix on your overall health.

In the United States, two-thirds of the states have obesity rates higher than 25 percent. Twelve states are over 30 percent. But that’s only by the Body-Mass Index (BMI).

When they measured body fat percentages among 1,400 people, researchers found that nearly 40 percent of those who had a BMI classification of being overweight were actually now considered obese by their percentage of body fat.

According to lead author Dr. Eric Braverman, "Based on BMI, about one-third of Americans are considered obese, but when other methods of measuring obesity are used, that number may be closer to 60%." BMI neglects to factor in your muscle mass. Fit athletes and people who are completely out of shape can have surprisingly similar BMI scores. A really muscular person could even be classified as "obese" using BMI.

Also the location of the fat on the body is more important than the amount of fat when it comes to measuring many health risks, such as heart disease.

A better way to gauge your weight health

A simple, inexpensive option is to measure your waist circumference, a key measurement for visceral fat, a dangerous type of fat around internal organs. Excessive visceral fat is linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Excess visceral fat can also cause inflammation, damaging arteries and your liver. It affects metabolism, raises your risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, vascular disease and atherosclerosis (hardening of your arteries).

Here’s how to measure your waist using a tape measure. Figure the distance around the smallest area of your abdomen. Make sure the tape measure is below your rib cage but also above your belly button. Here’s the general guide.

  • For men, between 37 and 40 inches is considered overweight, and more than 40 inches is considered obese.
  • For women, 31.5-34.6 inches is labeled overweight and more than 34.6 inches is considered obese

MeasureYour Body Fat

You can also measure body fat percentage using a skinfold caliper. A high body fat percentage is an indication of chronic health problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Fight With Your Obesity and High BMI Index

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