Understanding Adult Obesity

obesity

obesity

Many Americans are at increased health risk because they are obese. The U.S.
Surgeon General, in a 1988 report on nutrition and health, estimated that
one-fourth of adult Americans are overweight. Obesity is a known risk factor for
chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke,
and some forms of cancer.

How
Is Obesity Measured?

Everyone needs a certain amount of body fat for stored energy, heat
insulation, shock absorption, and other functions. As a rule, women have more
fat than men. Doctors generally agree that men with more than 25 percent body
fat and women with more than 30 percent body fat are obese. Precisely measuring
a person’s body fat, however, is not easy. The most accurate method is to weigh
a person underwater – a procedure limited to laboratories with sophisticated
equipment.