Definitions of Obesity

Obesity is defined as ‘becoming excessively fat due to increased intake of calories and decreased activity including exercises’. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of a range of health issues.

The BMI is one of the measures to determine the level of obesity. A person is defined as obese if their body mass index (BMI), the result of a calculation involving weight and height, is above a certain level. You can work out your body mass index by dividing your weight in kilograms by height in metres squared.

  • Obesity – BMI over 30
  • Overweight – BMI over 25

To understand your BMI, use our BMI Calculator.

BMI is not the only indicator, as athletes with high muscle density can be classified as having high BMI, whereas actually their body fat is quite low.

However, for the majority, BMI correlates fairly well with body fat and is a good indicator of weight.

Obesity Statistics

The statistics on obesity show a very worrying picture for the nation’s future.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has launched a bid to reduce obesity levels in England by 2020, saying that people need to be honest with themselves about how much they eat and drink. He said that, overall, Britons should be eating five billion fewer calories a day than at present.

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