Skip to content

The Cold, Hard Facts about Obesity and The Myth of Being Big-Boned

    Obesity is a serious, chronic disease that is known to reduce life span, increase disability, and lead to many illnesses.

    It is the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. Smoking is number one.

    In many patients, problems and diseases were directly or indirectly related to their excess weight. In most cases, these illnesses could have been avoided, or lessened in severity, by the maintenance of lower body weight (i.e., less body fat).


    How bad is the obesity problem in the United States?

    64% of American adults are overweight.

    31% are obese.

    21-25% of children and teenagers are significantly overweight.

    Poor nutrition and inactivity account for 400,000 deaths per year.

    88-97% of all cases of Type II diabetes and 57% of coronary heart disease are attributable to obesity.

    Children are now developing Type II diabetes at an alarming rate.

    33% of all cases of hypertension are thought to be due to obesity.

    Obesity Can Lead to Various Diseases (Partial List)

    • Type II Diabetes
    • Coronary Artery Disease
    • Hypertension
    • Colon Cancer
    • Breast Cancer
    • Uterine Cancer
    • Prostate Cancer
    • Female Infertility
    • Menstrual Irregularities
    • Degenerative Arthritis
    • Stroke
    • Sleep Disorders

    In addition, overweight individuals suffer decreased functioning in many aspects of their lives and experience social and economic discrimination.

    The Good News – Weight Loss Can Reduce Obesity-Related Risks

    Weight reduction of 5% to 10% can significantly reduce all obesity-related risks.

    Calculating A Healthy Weight Through BMI

    Enter the body mass index (BMI) calculator.

    Studies have shown that a BMI that ranges from 19 and 24.9 means that the person is healthy.

    A BMI between 25 and 29.9 means overweight and any BMI that goes beyond 30 indicates obesity.

    A person’s risk of having diseases is high when their BMI is over 25 and it’s much higher when it’s beyond 30. The risk of having diseases and even death increases dramatically for people at this stage.

    To get a better picture, here are some specific examples.

    Female BMI

    If an average female in America has is 64 inches tall and weighs around 110 to 114 pounds, this means she’s healthy.

    But, if her weight is between 145 to 173 pounds, she’s already overweight. Having a weight of 174 pounds and beyond means this female is obese.

    Male BMI

    An average American male that’s 70 inches tall is healthy if he weighs between 132 to 173 pounds.

    He is overweight if he weighs 174 to 208 pounds and obese if his weight goes over 209 pounds.

    Child BMI

    BMI for children is a little bit more complex than for adults. BMI for children is called body mass index- for-age percentile calculation. The difference between their BMI readings is because of the normal BMI-related changes that occur as they grow older; another reason is the regular sex difference BMI.

    Let’s say a 10-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy both received a result of BMI-for-age of 23. This means that the 10-year-old actually is obese while the 15-year-old is normal and healthy.

    Being “Big-Boned” is a Myth

    Most people believe that they are only big-boned and not overweight. This originated from the insurance tables used years ago before BMI was implied. Insurance companies were the only ones who needed weight and height tables back then. They use it to estimate insurable life risk; this was done by classifying the people among large frame, medium frame, and small frame. Different tables are used for different groups; these tables are not scientific and accurate enough to give the information that the new generation needs.