In the Laparoscopic Weight Loss Surgery blog, we always insist that obesity causes heart disease, diabetes or increases the risk of cancer. In this post we are going to talk about a term that you may not know: hidden obesity.
The normal way to measure whether a person is at a healthy weight is by body mass index, the ratio of height to weight. The point is that this formula does not always help to know if someone is going to have health problems related to being overweight. Therefore, the best indicator is excess fat. Several studies reveal that many people who consider themselves thin or slightly overweight actually have a high percentage of fat. Added to this are levels of blood pressure, insulin or inflammation typical of someone with obesity.
For this reason, many specialists advocate changing the definition of obesity and not focusing only on body weight, but on fat. To know if there is excess fat, the waist circumference is measured. If it is greater than half the height, it will be an indication that you have to lose weight. Anyway, in Laparoscopic Weight Loss Surgery we remember that accurately measuring body fat levels requires more technologically advanced methods such as dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.
Many studies have been published in this regard. In 2013, a team from the University of Navarra, with a sample of 6,000 people, came to the conclusion that up to 29% of thin people based on their BMI were actually obese based on their amount of fat. It was also concluded that 80% of people who, according to their BMI, would be overweight would actually be obese. According to this study, a person has a normal body fat composition if it presents an index below 20% in men and 30% in women. You are overweight if the value of your equation is between 20 and 25% in men and between 30 and 35% in women and we are already talking about obesity in men with a rate above 25% and in women with more than 35% body fat composition.