Nutrition & Exercise

Being Overweight

Being overweight affects a person’s health and their overall quality of life. Consuming more calories than you are burning off by exercising leads to being overweight and obese. The body will store these extra calories and fat builds up in their bodies.

Being overweight and obese means someone is at a high risk for developing other health problems because of their weight. Obesity is becoming a serious issue in the United States today, and about one-third of all children and teenagers are overweight or obese.

Why are so many people becoming overweight?

  • Family history
  • Unhealthy food choices – too much fast food
  • Family food habits – eating on-the-run or in front of the television
  • Bigger portions of food – what other countries consider a large portion, we consider small
  • Emotional distress – people eat when they are feeling sad and depressed

What is BMI and why does it matter?

Body mass index (BMI) is a good measurement for determining if a person is overweight. Here is a good BMI calculator for teens. BMI considers a person’s height and weight to estimate body fat. Once your BMI is calculated you can compare it to a BMI chart. If your BMI falls above the 85th percentile but less than the 95th you are considered overweight. If you pass the 95th percentile you are considered obese. BMI is a tool used for healthcare professionals to identify health risks, but your BMI alone does not provide a detailed outline of your overall health.

BMI Chart from the United States Department of Health & Human Services
What are the health problems associated with being overweight and obese?

  • Fatigue
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Blount’s disease:  Carrying too much weight on developing legs leads to deformity of the lower legs
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Sleep apnea
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Liver damage: this is caused from excess fat building up in the liver
  • Fertility problems
  • Depression

If you are overweight and concerned about your health, talk to your parents or a medical professional about healthy changes you can make to improve your weight.