Obesity is a modern pandemic, spreading across the United States with alarming speed. The disability not only drastically increases the chance of developing serious health problems, but also greatly limits the quality of life of the sufferer – regardless of whether they have mitigating accessories such as a handicap parking permit or not.
Though obesity is more common now than ever, a significant amount of Americans don’t know how to tell if they’re obese. To help shed light on how to self-diagnose, here are two reliable ways to tell if you’re obese.
1. Calculate Your BMI
Probably one of the most common and reliable ways to tell if you’re obese is to calculate your body mass index a.k.a. your BMI. Though it may sound jargon-y, calculating your BMI is pretty simple to do and it’s the recommended method of obesity diagnosis from doctors everywhere – and it comes with the World Health Organization stamp of approval.
BMI results are stratified into four different classes, with the fourth class – obesity – being stratified a further three times. These classes are as follows:
- BMI under 18.5 – Underweight
- BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 – Normal and Healthy
- BMI between 25 and 29.9 – Overweight
- BMI 30 or higher – Obese
If you calculate your BMI and find yourself to be obese, it’s important to be aware of the further stratification of the obesity category:
BMI between 30 and 34.9 – Obesity Level 1
BMI between 35 and 39.9 – Obesity Level 2
BMI over 40 – Obesity Level 3 a.k.a. morbid obesity
If you find yourself in the morbid obesity category, your health is at serious risk. Though you can get certain mitigating accessories to help alleviate the affects of your obesity – like a disabled parking permit – you need to tackle the root cause of your problem, rather than just dealing with the after effects.
Put simply, by calculating your BMI, you’re calculating the amount of body fat you have. This is done with a formula using your weight and height statistics. The formula is simple and accurate and can be done easily with the use of a calculator – or if you’re not feeling up to calculations, you can use an online BMI calculator.
If you’re up for the arithmetic, you can calculate your BMI by dividing your weight with your height in meters squared. It’s important to note here that your height and weight must be recorded using the metric system e.g. using kilograms and meters – sorry, North Americans! Therefore if your weight is 65kg and your height is 1.43cm you’d use the below BMI formula:
65/(1.43 x 1.43)
This would give you a BMI of 31.8 which would make you clinically obese. With a BMI score like this, you’d be seriously advised to lose weight and would be afforded a handicap parking permit while you do so.
Though BMI is the most commonly used method of telling if you’re obese, it doesn’t come without any limitations. The index leaves out certain pieces of information which makes it misleading in some cases. An example of this would be the fact that it doesn’t take into account whether your weight consists of fat or muscle. A buff body builder, in peak physical condition could potentially be classed as obese by the BMI as they would have a lot of extra weight – though it’s healthy muscle instead of dangerous fat.
For this reason, the BMI shouldn’t be the be all and end all of determining whether you’re obese and should only be used as a first method of measurement for those worried about their weight
2. Measure Your Waist
One of the more accurate ways to tell if you’re obese is by measuring your waist. The circumference of your waist tells a lot about your physical fitness, your weight level and the health risks that may be posed to you. This is because abdominal fat is particularly dangerous as it makes the human body become resistant to insulin – the vitally important hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. With insulin resistances comes a severely increased risk of developing conditions like diabetes, as well as increasing the likelihood of the sufferer experiencing a stroke or a heart attack. Death rates from these conditions are higher in those with a large waist circumferences than those without them so it’s important to keep an eye on your middle line.
Calculating the circumference of your waist is incredibly easy and can be done using a normal household measuring tape. Using the tape, measure the area around your waist at the top of your hip bone, pulling the tape until it wraps around to meet its starting point. The tape should feel snug to your skin, without compressing it. Take the measurement after you exhale to get a more accurate result.
In men, a waist circumference of 40 inches or more indicates obesity. This figure is lowered for women whereby a waist circumference of 35 inches or more indicates obesity. If you measure your waist and find that you exceed these calculations then it’s time to consider losing weight. Fortunately, abdominal fat is usually the first to go when obese people start to lose weight.
If you’ve undertaken the above tests and find yourself to be obese, there are some things you can do to help make life easier as you make the journey towards happy health again. As your weight deems you to be disabled, you are entitled to get a disabled parking permit. This parking permit will enable you to used handicap parking spots across the country, making traveling significantly easier for you. If you think getting a disabled parking permit would improve your life, get in touch with us today and we’ll look after you.