Obesity : Classifications of Body Weight and Obesity


  • Classifications of Body Weight and Obesity
    • Patient assessment
      • BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s weight (kg) by the square of the height (m2).
        • BMI less than 18.5 kg/m2 is considered underweight
        • BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2 is considered normal weight
        • BMI of 25 to 29.9 kg/m2 is considered overweight
        • BMI above 30 kg/m2 is considered obese
        • BMI greater than 40 kg/m2 is extreme obesity
      • Waist circumference
        • People with visceral fat and truncal obesity are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome
          • Men >40” waist
          • Women >35” waist
      • Waist-to-Hip Ratio
        • Method of describing distribution of subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue
        • Waist measurement/hip measurement
          • WHR <0.8 optimal
          • WHR >0.8 at risk for health complications
      • Body shape
        • Apple-shaped body
          • Fat located primarily in abdominal area
          • Android obesity
        • Pear-shaped body
          • Fat located primarily in upper legs
          • Gynoid obesity

Relationship between Body shape and Health risks

Body Shape


Health Risks

Gynoid (pear)

Fat mainly located in the upper legs


Has a better prognosis but difficult to treat

Varicose veins


Subcutaneous fat traps and stores dietary fat

Trapped fatty acids stored as triglycerides

Android (apple)

Fat primarily located in abdominal area

Heart disease

Fat also distributed over upper body (neck, arms, shoulders)

Diabetes mellitus

Greater risk for obesity-related complications

Breast cancer

Endometrial cancer

Visceral fat more active, causing decreased insulin sensitivity

Increased triglycerides

Decreased HDL cholesterol

Increased BP

Increased free fatty acid release into blood

    • Primary obesity
      • Excess caloric intake for body’s metabolic demands
    • Secondary obesity
      • Chromosomal and congenital anomalies
      • Metabolic problems
      • CNS lesions and disorders
      • Drugs (corticosteroids, antipsychotics)