Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Are You overweigth? Do you know the risk?

1. Body Mass Index (BMI) o Indice de masa corporal ( IMC)
BMI is a reliable indicator of total body fat, which is related to the risk of disease and death. The score is valid for both men and women but it does have some limits. The limits are:
It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build.
It may underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle mass.

Underweight Below 18.5
Normal 18.5 - 24.9
Overweight 25.0 - 29.9
Obesity 30.0 and Above

2. Waist Circumference
Determine your waist circumference by placing a measuring tape snugly around your waist. It is a good indicator of your abdominal fat which is another predictor of your risk for developing risk factors for heart disease and other diseases. This risk increases with a waist measurement of over 40 inches in men and over 35 inches in women

3. Other Risk Factors
Besides being overweight or obese, there are additional risk factors to consider:

*high blood pressure (hypertension)
* high LDL-cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol)
* low HDL-cholesterol ("good" cholesterol)
* high triglycerides
* high blood glucose (sugar)
* family history of premature heart disease
* physical inactivity
* cigarette smoking

4. Assessment
For people who are considered obese (BMI greater than or equal to 30) or those who are overweight (BMI of 25 to 29.9) and have two or more risk factors, the guidelines recommend weight loss. Even a small weight loss (just 10 percent of your current weight) will help to lower your risk of developing diseases associated with obesity. Patients who are overweight, do not have a high waist measurement, and have less than 2 risk factors may need to prevent further weight gain rather than lose weight.

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