Are you overweight

Are You Overweight?

Being overweight can be discouraging, but there are ways of overcoming and losing weight the healthy way. There are many Causes Of Overweight gain, some include not eating healthy, overeating, or not exercising.

If you are looking for the Causes of Overweight gain, then read further. This is a helpful guide to how you can tell if you are overweight and also what triggers weight gain. Knowing this will help you know what should be changed in your life so that you can start improving and being healthier.

Being overweight, in particular, being grossly overweight or obese is a major health problem. It carries an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, blood clots, high blood pressure, diabetes, liver disease, lung disease, cancer, arthritis, infertility and premature death. In England alone, an estimated 30,000 deaths occur each year as a result of obesity.

66 out of every 100 adults in the UK is considered to be overweight, with 25 out of every 100 considered to be obese. Of even greater concern, is the rapid rise in obesity in children, with 13 out of every 100 eight-year-olds and 17 out of every 100 fifteen-year-olds now considered obese.

What is BMI? 

Healthcare professionals use a measure called the body mass index (BMI) to determine if you are overweight or obese. Your BMI is your body weight measured in kilograms divided by the square of your height in metres. So, for example, a person weighing 70kg who is 1.6 metres tall will have a BMI of 27.3 (70 divided by 1.6 x 1.6).

The following are measures of BMI:

  • BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 - healthy weight
  • BMI between 25 and 29.9 - overweight
  • BMI between 30 and 40 - obese
  • BMI between 40 and 50 - morbidly obese
  • BMI over 50 - malignantly obese

Previously, most obesity experts considered that total body fat was the main predictor of weight-related disease. Now, it is thought that the location of fat is equally if not more important than total body fat.

If you have more weight in the waist area (apple-shaped) you are at greater risk of health problems than if your extra weight lies on your hips and thighs (pear-shaped).

For example:

  • If you are a man with a waist measurement greater than 94cm you are at risk of developing weight-related health problems, and the risk is even higher if your waist measurement exceeds 102cm.
  • If you are a woman with a waist measurement greater than 80cm you are at risk of developing weight-related health problems, and the risk is even higher if your waist measurement exceeds 88cm.


Although BMI is widely used for weight assessment, it is not appropriate for everybody. Athletes with a high proportion of muscle mass will have a high BMI but will have very little excess fat. Also, BMI is most applicable to the physique of people of Western origin, and may, therefore, understate the health risks of people of Far Eastern origin who tend to weigh less and have a lighter body frame. Special charts are used to assess weight in children.


What Causes Obesity? 

Your body weight is determined by the amount of energy obtained by eating food compared with the amount of energy your body uses. Most of the surplus energy from the food and drink you eat will be stored as fat. In order to lose weight, the energy intake from your diet should be less than the energy you expend. So, the main causes of being overweight are a combination of eating the wrong kinds of food, over-eating and a lifestyle with little exercise.

  • Fast foods with high saturated fat content and high-calorie snacks are perhaps the greatest cause of obesity, particularly among children. These foods tend to give a short-lived energy boost but have a very low nutritional value. Once the energy boost has gone the body craves another energy boost and, because the body still lacks the essential vitamins and minerals it was seeking in the first place, you feel that you want to eat again, establishing a cycle of eating and craving that leads to weight gain. A balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables, eaten at proper meal times, helps to break this cycle.
  • Over-eating is another cause of obesity. Do not regard eating large portions ‘as a challenge’. The part of your brain that controls appetite soon adapts to these large portions and does not send the message to tell you to stop eating. Meal sizes get bigger and bigger, and the weight piles on.
  • Lack of physical activity is another important factor. Taking the car instead of walking, watching television or playing computer games instead of exercising, non-physical occupations all prevent us from using the energy obtained from food.
  • A person may not get the proper intake of vitamins if he or she is expediently following a weight loss program. Slimming aids like XLS Medical and Alli contains vitamins A, D and E to help compensate for any vitamins lost during the fat binding process.

Are You Overweight?

Looking in the mirror and getting on the weighing scales will no doubt reveal the most obvious symptoms of being overweight. Even without these, being slightly overweight can affect the way you feel and the things that you do. You may feel more lethargic than usual and may find that your day to day activities make you more breathless and more tired than they used to do. You may have difficulty sleeping and you will have a tendency to snore when asleep.

If you are severely overweight there will be an increased likelihood of health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, back pain and arthritis. Many of these diseases develop over a long time, and you may not realise that you have a health problem until it is well advanced.

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