In the simplest term, obesity can be termed as a state where an excess amount of body fat gets piled up in the body mainly due to unhealthy eating habit and leading sedentary lifestyle and are not easy to control with simple dieting and exercise. When the Body Mass Index (BMI), which is a measure of obesity, goes above 30, it is a sign of obesity. Obesity may be the reason for various diseases like hypertension, diabetes and sleep apnea.

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How is Obesity Measured?

Obesity can be measured in various ways; the most popular of the list is the Body Mass Index (BMI), waist to hip ratio, waist to height ratio, waist circumference and many more. In spite of having many other methods, the following methods are preferred by most obesity surgery doctors.



Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI is the ratio of an individual’s body weight to their square of height. There are several classifications based on the range that comes as the outcome. It is as follows-

  • Below 18.5 is considered Underweight
  • 18.5 – 22.5 is Normal Bodyweight
  • 22.5 – 27.5 is Overweight
  • 27.5 – 32.5 is Class I Obesity
  • 32.5 – 37.5 is Class II Obesity
  • Above 37.5 is Class III Obesity (Morbid Obesity)
  • More than 50, is classified as Super Obesity

Ideal Waist To Hip Ratio (WHR)

It is a ratio of measurements of an individual’s waist to their hip

  • Less than 0.8 (for female)
  • Less than 0.9 (for male)

Waist to Height Ratio

It is a simple parameter of measurement of an individual’s waist to their height.

Less than or equal to 0.5 is considered ideal for a person with normal body weight.


Waist Circumference (WC)

Circumference of the waist or more commonly known as WC can be measured easily with the help of a measuring tape. Generally, if the WC exceeds the following parameters it is considered unsafe.

  • Men: >102 cm ( or >40 in.)
  • Women: >88 cm ( or >35 in.)

Obesity is now being considered as a major health threat. It severely affects the quality of life of the individuals. Thankfully, the emergence of obesity surgery in India is helping them immensely to regain their health and wellbeing.


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