Body Mass Index is used to express the relationship between body weight and health. It is a simple and inexpensive way to measure body fat as it is calculated by dividing the weight with height squared. Increase in the body fat and lean tissue causes an increment in the body mass index. Body Mass Index is classified into four major categories:
- When the body mass index is between 15 - 19.9 kg/m2, a person is considered as underweight.
- When the body mass index is between 20-24.9 kg/m2, a person is considered as normal.
- When the body mass index of a person is between 25 - 29.9 kg/m2, a person is considered to be overweight
- When the body mass index is 30 kg/m2 or over, a person is considered as obese.
According to the studies, a person who has a body mass index of more than 30 have a reduced life expectancy of two to four years than a healthy person. And, a person with a body mass index more than 40 loses eight to ten years of their life. Body mass index is an indicator of body fat for both adults and children. It is noticed that the children of the same age and similar body proportion with different heights will have different body mass index values. It is recognized that women have more fat tissue than men at the body mass index. Also, during adult life, both men and women lose their lean tissues. With the body mass index, the proportion of fat in the older man or woman will be higher than the adult man and woman.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS is a common endocrine problem that affects many women of reproductive age. It is a serious hormonal disorder that is associated with many complications such as hirsutism, insulin resistance, pregnancy problems, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. High body mass index or obesity is closely associated with PCOS and according to many studies, In the United States, more than half of the patients who have polycystic ovarian syndrome are either overweight or obese. Increased weight is linked with several abnormalities of sex steroid metabolism which results in an increased production of androgen and becomes one of the causes of PCOS.
2. Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that is characterized by the high level of blood glucose and the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is determined by many factors and the development of insulin resistance plays an important role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Obesity is highly linked with diabetes and make the condition worse. According to one of the study, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes is 20 times more likely in those who have a body mass index greater than 35 kg/m2. Obesity has been a significant contributor to type 2 diabetes and around 80% of those who develop type 2 diabetes are found overweight or obese.
3. Cardiovascular disease
Obesity is a major health concern worldwide, and it is viewed as a complex disorder and a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Obese people are at an increased risk of developing cardiac disease and especially heart attack. Obesity increases cardiac output and cardiac workload, and this increases the pressure on the heart. Obese people are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure as compared to lean or healthy people, and this leads to an increase in arterial pressure. Obesity increases the risk of left ventricular hypertrophy and other abnormalities related to the cardiovascular system.
Cancer is one of the leading cause of death in developed countries and there are a lot of evidence that supports a relationship between obesity and cancer. Obesity often leads to an increase in the level of many hormones and inflammation and sometimes these fluctuations in the level could lead to the development of cancer. Obesity and overweight are linked with 13 different types of cancer. The relation between obesity and cancer can also be explained through the changes in the endogenous levels which causes an impairment of the normal balance between cell proliferation.
Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that is related to the joints, and it is characterized by swelling, stiffness, and pain in the joints. The most common effect of obesity on the musculoskeletal system is the development of osteoarthritis. According to the researchers, weight loss on osteoarthritis significantly improves the pain and other symptoms of this disease, and it also delays the progression of the joint structural damage. They also suggested that the people who have a body mass index of more than 30 kg/m2 are more likely to develop knee osteoarthritis as compared to the healthy weight people.