Obesity and overweight are a global problem.

Obesity and overweight are a global problem.

This is the burden to the society, an increase will result in the sick and lethargic workforce.

Increase in the number of obesity or overweight population will hamper the productivity.

By Mahmood Hussain 03rdOctober 2017 for www.babyfirst.com.pk  Baby First Pakistan, Facebook:babyfirstpk , LinkedIn, Twitter and so on.

Obesity is preventable. This needs the will, determination and implementing control on self.

Referring here is updated version of the report issued by World Health Problem (WHO) last year in June 2016.

  • As per data of 2014. which states worldwide 1.9 billion people are overweight above the age of 18 years. This figure translates into 39% of adult population.
  • 600 million were obese having the weight of more than 200 pounds. This means 13% of adult population are obese of the planet. Out of which 11% are men and 15% are women who were obese in the year 2014
  • During last 35 years obesity has increased by 100% this means it has doubled within the period of 1980 to 2015.
  • Obesity is preventable and can be averted, avoided or reversed. This really needs determination and greater will. Strict diet control means eating right needed quantity of healthy and nutritious food, regular physical activity, that is devoting 45-50 minutes per day for at least 5 times a week for cardiac exercise and weight bearing activities.
  • Children are also badly affected and it is on rise especially older children above 5 years. Report mentioned nearly 5.0 million children under the age of 5 years are obese or overweight.

What factors lead to obesity and overweight.

The reason to be obese and overweight is due to the imbalance in energy due to calorie intake and consumed. This has been observed worldwide:

  • Increase in energy-rich food which contains the high amount of fat.
  • Lack of physical activity or living in a sedentary or inactive lifestyle,
  • Change in mode of transportation and increase in trend of urbanization.
  • Spending more time on watching TV, desk-bound activities that is the use of internet / social media and playing video games.
  • Overall it is observed there are changes in consumption of diet, moving towards fast or junk food.
  • Lack of outdoor activities and less engagement in outdoor sports and games
  • Increase in trend among children from the age of 2 years and onward until the adolescent age for electronic gadgets. They are highly fascinated and addicted to electronic media such as TV for cartoon or video game, mobile with android apps, for internet and social media.

Both body condition that is obesity and overweight is leading towards more death worldwide rather than underweight. During current era, on the earth, there are more people who are obese than underweight this is the worldwide problem with exception Asia especially SARRC region and Sub Saharan Africa.

Both conditions are leading towards diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular disorder, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, infertility and renal disease, which means greater expenses to manage and control either of these.

Manage and watch your weight. Live below recommended weight to remain healthy and enjoy Quality Of Life (QOL)  


Obesity and overweight both are defined as an accumulation of excessive or above normal fat in the body. This condition will overall effect or impair the health of the individual if it is not watched and monitored carefully.

Overweight is especially common where food supplies are plentiful and we don’t exercise cautious approach. Also, contributing factor is the lifestyles which are sedentary, which means very little or no time devoted to physical activities.

In this condition, the heart will have to work more. The heart is overloaded and trying to cope with the obese body.


Obesity & overweight, its classification we use the simple index and grade it, which is referred as Body Mass Index (BMI). It is classified globally as the index of weight within reference to height in adults. Which is evaluated as person weight in kilograms divided by square meter.

BMI is calculated on the following guidelines and individual adults are classified on basis of this table:

 BMI Classification for Adults

Less than 18.5    Underweight
18.5 to 24.9    Normal weight
25 to 29.9    Overweight
30 to 34.9    Class I obesity
35 to 39.9    Class II obesity
More than 40    Class III obesity


Weight and height guide chart use by NHS (published in Medical News Today)

NormalOverweightObeseExtreme Obesity
4ft 10″
91 to 115 lbs.119 to 138 lbs.143 to 186 lbs.191 to 258 lbs.
4ft 11″
94 to 119 lbs.124 to 143 lbs.148 to 193 lbs.198 to 267 lbs.
97 to 123 lbs.128 to 148 lbs.153 to 199 lbs.204 to 276 lbs.
5ft 1″
100 to 127 lbs.132 to 153 lbs.158 to 206 lbs.211 to 285 lbs.
5ft 2″
104 to 131 lbs.136 to 158 lbs.164 to 213 lbs.218 to 295 lbs.
5ft 3″
107 to 135 lbs.141 to 163 lbs.169 to 220 lbs.225 to 304 lbs.
5ft 4″
110 to 140 lbs.145 to 169 lbs.174 to 227 lbs.232 to 314 lbs.
5ft 5″
114 to 144 lbs.150 to 174 lbs.180 to 234 lbs.240 to 324 lbs.
5ft 6″
118 to 148 lbs.155 to 179 lbs.186 to 241 lbs.247 to 334 lbs.
5ft 7″
121 to 153 lbs.159 to 185 lbs.191 to 249 lbs.255 to 344 lbs.
5ft 8″
125 to 158 lbs.164 to 190 lbs.197 to 256 lbs.262 to 354 lbs.
5ft 9″
128 to 162 lbs.169 to 196 lbs.203 to 263 lbs.270 to 365 lbs.
5ft 10″
132 to 167 lbs.174 to 202 lbs.209 to 271 lbs.278 to 376 lbs.
5ft 11″
136 to 172 lbs.179 to 208 lbs.215 to 279 lbs.286 to 386 lbs.
140 to 177 lbs.184 to 213 lbs.221 to 287 lbs.294 to 397 lbs.
6ft 1″
144 to 182 lbs.189 to 219 lbs.227 to 295 lbs.302 to 408 lbs.
6ft 2″
148 to 186 lbs.194 to 225 lbs.233 to 303 lbs.311 to 420 lbs.
6ft 3″
152 to 192 lbs.200 to 232 lbs.240 to 311 lbs.319 to 431 lbs.
6ft 4″
156 to 197 lbs.205 to 238 lbs.246 to 320 lbs.328 to 443 lbs.
BMI19 to 2425 to 2930 to 3940 to 54


BMI is simple standard but also have the problem.

It is the simple method and does not consider the individual persons’ measurement of chest, waist or hip. To explain this, consider the example of a sprint runner champion of 100 meters is likely to have higher BMI as compared to couch potato, whereas they both are of same height.  The individual with couch potato will have a big belly, a lot of fat on hip, both upper thighs and in blood, whereas possess less muscle. In case of the athlete, he or she will have less waist, little body fat and will enjoy a quality of life. In both cases, if we use BMI calculator than couch potato may be taken as a healthy person.

The BMI calculation does not consider bone mass density, in case of severe osteoporosis patient. They will have lower bone density mass as compared to the healthy person. She or he may have lower BMI. In such patients, they will have the larger waist, weak bones, and more body fat.

Considering above example and other conditions the expert disapprove or criticize BMI as the useful evaluation method, this can be good criteria for rough or standard estimation. Every individual should be evaluated as per need or prevailing condition.

Another method of evaluation is available by using waist-hip ratio (WHR) and body fat percentage to adjudge or assess the individual.



WHR refer to the ratio of circumference to the waist and of the hip of the body, take the smallest circumference of the waist and divide it by circumference of the hip at the widest place.

How we can assess is simple, if the waist is 28 inches in case of female and her hip is 36 inches.  Simply calculate WHR 28 divided by 36 will be equal = 0.77.

Below are recommended WHR table for male and female separately for assessing the risk of the cardiovascular problem in both sexes.

Male WHR

Less than 0.9 is lower risk of cardiovascular health problems

0.9 to 0.99 means moderate risk of cardiovascular health problems

1 or over indicates higher risk of cardiovascular problems

Female WHR

Less than 0.8 refer as lower risk of cardiovascular health problems

0.8 to 0.89 indicates moderate risk of cardiovascular health problems

0.9 or over refer to higher risk of cardiovascular problems 

WHR calculation of individual person is generally assumed to be the better indicator. This tells whether body weight is ideal or not and what are the risk factors for developing the health problem as compared to BMI calculator. In numerous studies it is demonstrated people having apple shape body will have higher WHR is at higher risk of health as compared to people having pear shape body.

Among population either female or male, with lower WHR are healthier and more active as compared to higher WHR. Having lower WHR have less likely chances to suffer or victim of serious diseases such as cardiovascular (hypertension, coronary artery disease) diabetes, cancer, arthritis and kidney disease.

Obesity in children and young adult. We divide this group into two categories, one is under 5 years and the second group is from 5 years to 19.

The child who is below the age of 5 years.

Overweight is weight to height ratio greater than 2 standard deviation or above the WHO child growth standard median

Within this group, obesity is weight or height greater than 3 standard deviations

Children from the age group 5-19 years.

Overweight is referred to the term whose BMI is greater than 1 standard deviation above WHO growth reference median.

Obesity is greater than 2 standard deviations above WHO growth reference median.

Obesity is a global problem and we all have to work together to face this challenge and overcome. 

Article is written by Mahmood Hussain for Baby First Pakistan website, facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and other popular social media



About Mahmood Hussain

Professional Experience More than 36 years work experience in Healthcare & Pharmaceutical sectorDirector & General Manager Baby First (Pvt.) Ltd Pakistan March 2011 – till to date I have been associated with Baby First (Pvt) Ltd for more than 5 years. It is advisory, community and social interaction medium for parents 16-38 years and babies 0-6 years.General Manager Aga Khan Health Service Pakistasn December 2005 – December 2007 (2 years 1 month)Based at Karachi Pakistan Worked as General Manager managing Karachi & Baluchistan Health care services of AKHSP which includes primary and secondary health care centers and diagnostic centers on all areas nearly 102 centers which include three leading hospitals in Karachi.General Manager Janssen Cilag (Johnson & Johnson) February 1998 – January 2005 (7 years)Education MBA, Marketing 1995 – 1996, Preston University MSc, Biochemistry 1970 – 1974, Karachi University

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