Classification of Obesity

There are two ways in which obesity can be classified: one is according to the weight and other one according to the cause of weight gain.

1.) Grade I obesity: These people have Body Mass Index (BMI) more than 25 but less than 29.9. Overweight does not affect their health, they lead normal health and life expectancy is normal.
Grade II obesity: The BMI is between 30-39.9. These patients should be treated by doctors and dietitians. Although they appear to be in good health, they have reduced tolerance to exercise with shortness of breath on exertion and they are unduly fatigued. This is due to compromised circulatory and respiratory systems by internal fat mass and fatty infiltration of muscle. For mechanical and metabolic reasons, these patients are at increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, fatty liver, gall bladder disease, osteoarthritis, hernias and varicose veins. Mortality rate also increases.
3.) Grade III obesity: The BMI is above 40. These patients are in pathetic condition. Their day-to-day activities are restricted due to their enormous mass and are more susceptible to diseases mentioned in grade II. They are more prone to accidents and serious psychological disturbances.

Assessment of Obesity

Broka’s index: (which is easiest and simplest of all parameters)

To assess obesity first we must know what is ideal body weight?

In case of male ideal body weight is = height in cm – 100
In case of female ideal body weight = height in cm – 105

Body weight: If a person is more than 10 % standard body weight he is overweight, and more than 20% he is obese.

Let us have a look on – % body weight excess of normal with degree of Obesity.

25% – Mild
50% – Moderate
75% – Severe
100% – Very Severe

Body mass index: Also called Quetelet Index is calculated by following formula:

Body Mass Index = Weight in Kg / (Height in Mt) ²

Grading of Obesity:-

Underweight Less than 18
Normal 18 – 24.9
Grade I 25 – 29.9
Grade II 30 – 40
Grade III More than 40

Measurement of body fat: Various skin fold capillaries have been devised to measure total body subcutaneous fat at the triceps, abdomen and sub capsular sites.

Waist to hip ratio: The waist to hip ratio more than 0.85 in case of females and 1.0 in case of males is associated with obesity.

Simple ruler test: When a ruler is placed on the chest and abdomen of a subject lying down, if there is a slant upward the feet, it suggests a weight problem.

Some of the scientists also classify obesity as following:

1.) Exogenous: it is caused by excessive energy intake.
2.) Endogenous: it is caused by inherent metabolic problem that promoted obesity.