How do you determine obesity?
Obesity is defined as a generalized accumulation of body fat. It is measured by the body mass index (BMI), which is determined by a person's height and weight.
- A person with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight.
- A person with a BMI of 30 or greater is considered obese.
- A person with a BMI of 40 or greater is considered extremely or morbidly obese.
It is important to remember that BMI is just one number among a host of information that a care and support team will solicit from a child and their family. Diet, activity levels, environment, genetics, and other factors are all relevant in making assessments and treatment plans.
Adolescent obesity: Too prevalent and too dangerous
It is estimated that from 15 to 30 percent of adolescents are obese in the U.S. It also estimated that 50 to 77 percent of children and adolescents who are obese will carry their obesity into adulthood.
Obesity can cause devastating physical and psychological effects, and can increase the risk of developing serious and often life-threatening conditions. These include:
- type 2 diabetes
- sleep apnea
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol/triglycerides
- high insulin levels (pre-diabetic)
- fatty liver disease
- joint and back pain
- gastroesophageal reflux disease (heartburn)
- irregular/absent menstrual cycles
- urinary incontinence
- sleep disorders
- poor quality of life
- inability to participate in daily activities