Rather than relying on your conscience to tell if you are overweight, experts say you should know your Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is a quick and easy way to assess one’s body composition. This assessment compares your body weight with your height and comes up with a value that indicates if you are normal weight, underweight, overweight, or obese.
BMI Table for Adults
|35 and above||Extremely Obese|
Causes of being overweight
- Obesity can result from a combination of inherited factors, combined with the environment and also one’s personal diet and exercise choices.
- Unhealthy diet
- Inactivity. If you have a sedentary or lazy lifestyle, you can easily take in more calories every day than you burn through exercise or any other routine daily activities.
- People with obesity might eat more calories and feel hungry sooner. Stress or anxiety might also be another reason.
Risks of being Overweight
If you’re overweight with a BMI or Body Mass Index over 25kg/m2 and physically inactive, you may develop the following health problems:
- high blood pressure
- heart disease and strokes
- certain types of cancer
- sleep apnoea
- fatty liver disease
- kidney disease
- Pregnancy problems, such as high blood sugar during pregnancy and high risk for caesarean delivery.
PREVENTION OF OBESITY AND OVERWEIGHT
A family is made up of different individuals with different needs. So, what better way than reorganizing your kitchen habits to prevent health problems? Here are some pointers:
- Whole grain and not processed cereals are a major source of all essential nutrients. They also provide energy for healthy growth. Use a lot of whole grains like Ragi, Maize, Bajra and Jowar. Try using these whole grains for breakfast porridges, they definitely taste good.
- Make sure to have three servings of seasonal vegetables per head in your family for proper diet.
- One must never skip meals. Make sure to have three balanced meals in a day.
- Exercise daily. A minimum of 30-45 minutes daily. Small children need to be exposed to a lot of physical activities. Academics are important but so is maintaining weight and ensuring proper health.
Causes of being underweight
A person may be underweight due to genetic reasons, improper metabolism of nutrients, lack of food, consumption of drugs that can affect one’s appetite, illness (physical or mental) or even the eating disorder known as anorexia nervosa.Excessive stress – individuals who are very much stressed may stop eating due to a lack of appetite, nausea and also being preoccupied with their worries.
Risks of being Underweight
In today’s world, there’s a lot of focus in the medical world on the health effects of being overweight, but what about the effects of being underweight? There are certain health risks associated with being underweight or having poor nutrition which needs to be given attention as soon as possible.
- Skin, hair, or teeth problems
- Getting sick frequently
- Feeling tired all the time
- Irregular periods
- Premature births
- Slow or impaired growth
How can one gain weight in a healthy manner
If you want to gain weight in a healthy way, the amount of calorie you consume must be higher than that you burn everyday.(caloric surplus). It is must that you have a caloric surplus every day, not just once in a while.
The following are ways to gain weight in a healthy manner:
Eating smaller meals. i.e., Underweight people tend to feel full real fast. Hence they should at least eat five to six smaller meals in a day than two or three large meals.
Eating nutrient-rich food: Instead of always having junk food, consume food products rich in proteins and carbohydrates. Proteins help you in building muscles.
- whole-grain products
- dried fruit
- nuts and seeds
You must eat enough fruits and vegetables to cover your micronutrient requirement. When you focus on gaining weight, high calorie foods should be your first priority.
Quality over quantity. Gradually increase your portion size every week. It is done so that your body can get used to larger meals slowly.
You must have worked out a lot and then now you must be wondering why those extra kilos are not showing up. This may be caused due to inadequate amount of rest or sleep. Just like your body needs food and exercise, it also requires proper sleep of at least 7-8 hours. Following a regular sleep cycle definitely helps one a lot.
Thus, Measuring BMI in children and adults and tracking it over time offers a really simple and reliable way for people to tell whether they are indeed at a healthy weight or not.