Obesity – Diagnosis

Obesity – Diagnosing Obesity

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Obesity – Diagnosing Obesity

Diagnosing obesity
Measuring the body mass index (BMI) is a straight forward way of determining whether a person has a healthy body weight. As I have already discussed in a previous section of this presentation the BMI score is calculated by entering your body weight and height into a BMI calculator. There are a number of BMI calculators on line for example the one found on the NHS.uk website

Very briefly a BMI of 18.5- 24.9 is suggestive of a healthy body weight. A value of 25-29.9 supports a person being overweight and scores of 30 are indicative of someone being obese.

Just to remind you of the limitations of the BMI score, a person who carries a lot of muscle may have a heavy body weight in relation to their height which then gives a high BMI score. However their body fat content may not support that they are obese. Therefore in some cases (eg. People who weight train on a regular basis) the BMI score should be considered alongside the waist circumference of a person.

The BMI scores that I have just mentioned relate to people who have a white Caucasian heritage. Research has shown that persons from different ethnic minority backgrounds may have lower BMI cut off values in order to be classified as being overweight or obese.

The BMI tool should not be used to determine whether a child’s body weight is healthy. This is because they are still growing. Your GP should be able to determine whether your child has a healthy body weight.