Obesity

What is obesity?

  • Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health.

  • Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases and the leading cause of mortality in the world, representing 60% of all deaths.

 

BMI

  • Simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used in classifying overweight and obesity in adult populations. It is defined as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters (kg/m2).

  • BMI = Weight (Kg) / Height (m2)

  • WHO defines Overweight - BMI equal to or more than 25 (Asian 23)

  • WHO defines Obesity - BMI equal to or more than 30  (Asian 25)

 

Body Fat

  • Another measure for obesity

  • For males – 25% or above

  • For women – 30% or above

 

Causes

  • increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat and sugars but low in vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients

  • a trend towards decreased physical activity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work

  • energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended

  • increasing urbanization and changing modes of transportation

 

Consequences

Overweight and obesity lead to serious health consequences.

Risk increases progressively as BMI increases.

Raised body mass index is a major risk factor for chronic diseases such as:

  • Cardiovascular disease (mainly heart disease and stroke)

  • Hypertension

  • Diabetes

  • Musculoskeletal disorders

  • Some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)

  • Obesity is associated with lipid disorders termed dyslipidemia

 

Prevention

  • Increase physical activity & limit screen time

  • Follow a healthy eating diet & avoid unhealthy foods

  • Balance energy IN and OUT by focusing on portion size

  • Monitor weight regularly

Useful Links:

The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong

Smoking Cessation Programme

Hospital Authority

Race Relations Unit

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