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Body Mass Index (BMI) is a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness or being overweight. Overweight or underweight individuals have a higher likelihood of suffering from health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions, etc
BMI levels of 18.5 – 25 are considered healthy while those below or above that are considered underweight or overweight respectively.
BMI level of 30 and above is considered obese and should be treated as a critical indicator of one’s poor health state.
However, BMI alone is not a comprehensive indicator of how good one’s health is, the waistline measurement is another key indicator that should be used as well. Having a lot of tummy fat compared to compared to fat around your bottom or thighs) makes one more likely to develop diabetes and heart problems.
Generally, the recommended healthy waist circumference for men is less than 94cm (37 inches), and that for women it's less than 80cm (32 inches).
Many people are genetically more likely to be underweight or overweight. Some individuals can eat all varieties and quantities of food without putting on extra weight while for others, a mere taste of a piece of chocolate and they pack on the weight immediately. This is down to genetics and something called the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is the amount of energy used by the body while at rest in a neutrally temperate environment. A higher BMR means that the body uses a lot of energy while at rest so the person is less likely to be overweight, the reverse is also true.
Globally, the most obese countries are the islands in the Pacific Ocean with Palau having the highest obese population at 48%. Also high on the obesity chart is the Middle East with Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE featuring among the top 20 obese countries in the world. The USA comes in at position 12 on the obesity chart with 35% of the population obese.
In Africa, South Africa leads the way on the obesity chart closely followed by Egypt. Kenya ranks third on the chart, with 27% of Kenyans considered obese. Over 33% of women in Kenya are overweight while nearly 50% of those aged between 19-49 are obese. Source
Being in good health has multiple benefits, not commonly mentioned is the fact that it can reduce health insurance premiums. Many medical insurance companies in Kenya have ‘Active Lifestyle’ programs that encourage healthy living, these programs reward members with discounts on their annual cover premiums for being in good health and practicing healthy lifestyles.
The good news is you are not a lost cause, following these simple tips can go far in helping you control your weight, get back in shape and live a happier and healthier lifestyle. Health and nutrition is a multi billion dollar annual industry but it is based on just a few basic principles. Dieting and exercise are the two core must-dos in every healthy living plan.
Watching what you eat is the key in any dieting and lifestyle program, you are what you eat.
Exercising regularly and maintaining an active lifestyle go hand in hand with good dieting. Exercising will help you burn down the calories