Nutrition and DietDifferences between being overweight and obese

Differences between being overweight and obese

Although they are often used synonymously, did you know that being overweight and obese are actually not the same thing? We reveal what their main differences are.

Many times these two terms get confused and we even think that it is the same disorder.  An obese person is overweight, but is an overweight person obese?

To determine whether a person is overweight or obese, experts use a formula we call the body mass index (BMI). This formula calculates the level of fat in relation to your weight, height and height.

The formula is as follows: BMI = weight (kg) / height (m) 2. That is, first you calculate your weight, then you measure your height in meters and then you square it. In this way you will be able to know what your BMI is. For example, a person who weighs 58 kilos and measures 1.60 meters could make the following formula: BMI = 58 / (1.60 × 1.60), the result being 22.66.

You already know your body mass index, now let’s see according to the World Health Organization (WHO) which category you fall into.

Weight classification according to WHO

Here is a table that relates BMI to weight classification:

Classification BMI (kg / m 2 )
Infrapeso <18.50
Normal 18.50 – 24.99
Overweight 25.00 – 29.99
Obesity ≥30.00
Type I obesity 30.00 – 34.99
Type II obesity 35.00 – 39.99
Type III obesity ≥40.00
Type IV obesity > 50

The overweight

As we have seen, overweight is located immediately after “normal weight”. Therefore, the same person we talked about earlier with a height of 1.60 m and 58 kilos will become overweight when they weigh 65 kilos.

As you can see, in this case 7 kilos separate us from our normal weight. Those 7 kilos that we take at Christmas and that are combined with those of summer, those that make us grow tummy, etc.

Being overweight is a phenomenon that we can easily combat (some more easily than others) by improving our diet and playing sports. What these extra pounds are telling us is that we eat more calories than we burn.

Being overweight affects both physical and mental health. At physical levels the chances of developing hypertension and increasing glucose and fat in the blood while being overweight skyrocket. However, psychically this phenomenon will also affect us.

The current beauty canons, many very far from reality and normality, are very present among us and even more so among adolescents. Being overweight can make the mirror become our enemy and that we are not comfortable with our physical appearance. This last aspect leads to low self-esteem that can even lead to depression.

The obesity

When we talk about obesity we are talking about a chronic disease that refers to the body’s fat levels. As we can see in the table, obesity is next to overweight and consists of 3 levels depending on the values ​​of fat in the body. The lowest type is I and the highest type III.

Take as an example the same person of 1.60 meters, in this case to be considered obese must weigh at least 76 kilos. We are talking about 18 kilos more. It is no longer a tummy, now it is no longer so easy to lose those kilos just based on a balanced diet and moderate exercise, and yet it becomes vital that we lose weight for our health.

The causes that can cause this disease are varied and are never single-cause. That is, always 2 or 3 factors are combined.

Among the most common causes, the following stand out: genetics (33% approximate), socioeconomic factors (at lower levels there is a higher incidence, probably due to facts such as not being able to afford quality food), psychological (emotional disorders), related to development (increase of the size or number of fat cells), physical activity (sedentary lifestyle is the key to this disorder), hormones (diabetes, thyroid, etc.), brain injuries (in very few cases) and drugs (corticosteroids, antidepressants, etc. .)

The health complications that are related to this disease are innumerable, but among them we would like to highlight the following: cardiovascular (varicose veins, heart attacks), arteriosclerosis, diabetes, respiratory, osteoarticular, digestive, gestational, sexual, neurological problems … And the list has only just begun.


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