How being overweight can threaten your health

Jodesz Gavilan
Using a Body Mass Index calculator, you can find out whether you are vulnerable to diseases related to having excess weight

MANILA, Philippines – As the saying goes, everything is better in moderation.

It’s a common misconception that a person is all right if he’s not too thin. People who are heavier are often believed to be “healthy.” 

Underweight individuals are not the only ones vulnerable to diseases. In fact, around 3.4 million adults die every year because of health risks related to excess weight.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines obesity as an “abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health.”

A person can determine whether he is obese by computing his or her Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is a simple way to determine whether one’s weight is normal and healthy. It is commonly used to classify the right proportions based on a person’s weight and height. 

Find out your BMI by using the calculator below:

Convert height figures here and weight figures here.

 After finding your BMI, you can determine your classification:

18.5 and below Underweight 
18.5 – 24.9 Normal
25.0 – 29.9  Overweight
30.0 and above  Obese

(Source: WHO

Obesity poses a lot of health risks that can affect different parts of the human body. Here are some diseases that an obese or overweight person could suffer from:

Global obesity has doubled since the 1980s. As of 2008, more than a billion adults above 20 years old are considered overweight. Meanwhile in 2012, almost 40 million children under 5 years old were obese.

The last National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) found out that 3 in every 10 Filipino adults are overweight or obese regardless of economic status. There are more overweight women than men in the Philippines. (READ: What is the nutritional status of Filipinos?)

Obesity can be prevented mostly by maintaining a healthy and balanced diet together with the right physical activities. (READ: What a ‘Pinggang Pinoy’ should look like)

Meanwhile, WHO suggests that communities play a big role in the fundamental shaping of people’s choices in preventing obesity. A healthy lifestyle is possible only if stakeholders, including the government, open opportunities and raise awareness about the problem. – 


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Jodesz Gavilan

Jodesz Gavilan is a writer and researcher for Rappler and its investigative arm, Newsbreak. She covers human rights and also hosts the weekly podcast Newsbreak: Beyond the Stories. She joined Rappler in 2014 after obtaining her journalism degree from the University of the Philippines.