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Are You Obese Or Overweight? What's The Difference? Here's How You Can Find Out

Obesity vs overweight: If your body mass index (BMI) is between 19 to 24.9, then it is a normal range. 25-29.9 range of BMI is considered to be overweight and over 30 is considered to be obese.



  1. Lack of sleep can put you at risk of obesity
  2. Lack of exercise can make you obese or overweight
  3. Consuming too many calories can increase obesity risk

Obesity is a medical condition which occurs when a person carries excess body weight or fat and this might affect their health. A person who is obese has high body mass index (BMI). A BMI between 25 to 29.9 indicates that a person is carrying excess weight and might have obesity. There's is a thin line between being overweight and being obese and it is important to know the difference between the two. In this article, we are going to find out how to know if you are obese or just overweight.

How to find out if you are obese?

There are two factors that can help you determine obesity. The first, of course, is BMI. To calculate your BMI, you need to divide your weight in kgs by height squared in metres. If your BMI is equal to or less than 19 then you are undernourished and must seek urgent medical attention. If your BMI is between 19 to 24.9, then it is a normal range. 25-29.9 range of BMI is considered to be overweight and over 30 is considered to be obese.


Your body mass index can tell you if you are overweight or obese
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Best Diet And Exercise Tips For Preventing Obesity

The second way to find out if you are obese is waist measurement. You need to know the exact location of your waist, which is different from the one which is used for making clothes. Clinically, your waist is the midpoint between the last rib and the hip bone. The tape measure must run around the girth crossing the navel at the front and parallel at the back. For females, the waist measurement should be lesser than 40 inches for males and lesser than 35 inches for females.

What causes obesity?

Excess body fat and weight can be prevented by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet combined with regular exercise, good quality sleep and less stress can together help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.

Also read: Here's How Yoga Can Help You Lose Weight And Fight Obesity

Obesity puts you at risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and much more. Following are some of the reasons why obesity happens:

1. Sedentary lifestyle: Not being physically active and not exercising may put you at risk of obesity. The less you move, the fewer calories you burn. In order to prevent obesity, make sure you are physically active and move more and sit less.

2. Consuming too many calories: If your diet includes lots of junk, deep fried and processed food, then you are at risk of being obese or overweight. Avoid intake of high carb, high sugar and high fat foods. Include more fresh fruits, vegetables, lentils, legumes, nuts and seeds in your diet. High fibre, high protein and low-carb foods can help you lose weight and keep obesity at bay.


Consuming too many calories can put you at risk of obesity
Photo Credit: iStock

3. Lack of sleep: Yes, lack of sleep can put at the risk of obesity. Missing sleep or being sleep deprived increases your risk of gaining weight and developing obesity. When you sleep lesser than your body needs, it results in increased production of ghrelin or hunger hormone. Also, lack of sleep reduces production of leptin, the hormone that suppresses appetite. These two consequences can put you at risk of developing obesity.

Also read: Watching TV Can Lead To Obesity In Kids: Study; Know Tips To Prevent Childhood Obesity

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Along with these factors, taking too much stress, excessive intake of alcohol and smoking are other lifestyle-related habits that can slow down your metabolism and increase risk of obesity.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information. 


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