It's not just obesity anymore...
The use of the Body Mass Index (BMI = Kg/m²) as a parameter to determine whether a person is eutrophic (18.5 to 24.99 kg/m²), with overweight (25 to 29.99) or obese (above 30 kg/m²) has long been discussed (WHO). Although it is a cheap and easy to apply procedure, it has its limitations, as all the methods.
BMI does not measure the types of body tissue, for example. And the result does not bring the amount of muscle, fat and bones of an individual, so it is not indicated its isolated use, mainly for athletes. And for the healthy community, it is also interesting that other forms of nutritional and anthropometric evaluation are used.
However, a study recently published in the Journal Frontier for Public Health suggests changing the focus on the individuals' body weight to the body's fat amount, since it is believed that even the person is considered eutrophic by the BMI (and/or lean according to the standards imposed by the society), if your amount of body fat is excessive you will have similar risks to those associated with an obese individual.
It is recommended that the waist circumference is not greater than half the height.
The possible adverse consequences triggered by excess body fat (BFP - Body Fat Proportion) would be: increased glycemia and triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol and high LDL; Increased blood pressure, increased chance of developing metabolic syndrome, along with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and other chronic diseases, thus raising mortality.
- The results of this research indicate that there are many more people with excess fat than with overweight and obesity;
- In some countries, such as the USA, Iceland, Greece and New Zealand, the number of male adults with excess of body fat reaches 90% and among the child population, 50%;
- Although the rate of obese individuals shows a tendency to become static in the US, for example, the proportion of individuals with excess fat tends to grow.
Research such as this is important for the creation of new public policies aiming the treatment and prevention of these individuals, preferably in an intersectoral way, involving health, education, security, etc.
It allows us to reflect also that modernity offers us a very sedentary life. There is little incentive to practice sports or other modalities, depending on where we live: either it is expensive, or poor in quality, the environment is not suitable, insecure, or people have no education...
Finally, sometimes other issues need to be taken care of before feeding and practicing physical activity properly, and we need to look at individuals in their singularities for action to be effective.
Maffetone, PB; Rivera-Dominguez, I; Laursen, PB. Overfat Adults and Children in Developed Countries: The Public Health Importance of Identifying Excess Body Fat. Front. Public Health, 24 July 2017 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2017.00190