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03 Thu

Obese or not obese

Obese or not obese

Written by: Paul Kochoa, PT, DPT, OCS, CKTP, CGFI

“I’m not fat, I’m big-boned!” – Eric Cartman.  That phrase is part of the American lexicon.  Obesity is an epidemic. But many people who are obese or overweight don’t see it that way.  They believe that they’re just big-boned, or a little overweight.  Most people are in denial.

In an article on CNN, which cites findings at an American Heart Association conference, obesity is becoming more and more common and widespread, it’s changing how we perceive it.  Overweight and obese people are seeing their weight as normal, and then they become less likely to lose weight or address their problem.  The study included 222 mothers and children in an urban environment, who were interviewed about their medical history, weight, height, and body mass index.  The majority of the overweight subjects underestimated their weight.  The mothers also viewed their overweight children’s’ weight as normal.  The kicker was when the children were shown cards of body types and when asked to choose the ideal body type, they chose the overweight one.

The fact is that 2 out of 3 American adults are overweight or obese.  Obesity is a preventable epidemic, just like smoking.  Which means all the diseases and illnesses caused by it can be avoided.  The study can be a bit flawed in that it only included Latino families, but the report also stated that the same results were found in other studies on Caucasian and African-American subjects.

Well, if you think you’re not overweight, then how can you tell? Body Mass Index is a measurement that can objectively measure where you stand.  Basically, it’s a ratio between your height and weight:

BMI = weight (kg) / [height (m)]²   or   BMI = [weight (lbs) / height (in)²] x 703.

What you get is a number, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that number fits into the categories like this to tell if you’re overweight or obese:

30.0 and above:  Obese

25.0 – 29.9:  Overweight

18.5 – 24.9:  Normal

Below 18.5:  Underweight

Just make sure when you’re doing the math that you find out your real weight, and not use the weight you think you are.  This way, you can have an objective measure that tells you what you really are, and not what you think you are.  The bottom line is that even though big may be in, it’s not healthy.

If you would like more information, please call Professional Physical Therapy and Training at 973-270-7417.  Our offices are located within the YMCA locations in Madison and Summit, NJ.  You do not need to be a member of the YMCA to visit with us.

Image courtesy of stockimages /

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