Maintain a Healthy Weight

Not sure if you are a healthy weight?  Wondering if your present state of fitness and health is going to create problems down the road?  There are two methods that are commonly used to assess people:  


1. Arguably the most common method of determining a reasonable weight (for adults) is the Basal Metabolic Index (BMI).  It's a reasonable guide, but does have some limitations.*

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2. The second method of assessment looks at your waist line.  An increase in abdominal fat is strongly suggestive of increased risk for obesity related conditions such as cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.  Cardiovascular disease including heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke is still the number one killer of Canadians.

 

  • Measure your waist size (circumference) by placing a tape measure around your bare abdomen just above the hip bones. Make sure the tape is snug but does not compress the skin and is parallel to the floor. Relax, exhale and measure your waist.
  • Men over 101 cm (40 inches) are at an increased risk.
  • Non pregnant women over 89 cm (35 inches) are at an increased risk.


Carrying extra weight also puts more physical stress on your feet, knees, hips, pelvis and spine.

 

  • It can alter posture, creating spinal and muscular imbalances.
  • Increased physical stress wears down the cartilage that is found in all the joints of the skeleton and limbs.
  • Less cartilage means irritation, inflammation and arthritis.
  • Many other health changes are related to excessive weight.


*The index doesn’t account for differences in body-fat composition, fitness, gender, race, or age, and recent research underscores its limitations. In a 2010 meta-analysis involving nearly 32,000 people, published in the International Journal of Obesity, the BMI for obesity (30 and above) failed to identify half of the people with excess body fat. The index also doesn’t reflect where you carry fat, which is an important factor because people with a lot of fat around the waist are at higher risk for obesity-related diseases. 


Experts now suggest that combining your BMI with your waist circumference is a better indicator of health.