Overweight, obese., morbidly obese. They all mean fat right? No indeed. The standard way of measuring a persons body fat percentage is by calculating their Body Mass Index (BMI) According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, an adult is considered overweight when their BMI is 25 to 29.9 percent. An adult who has a BMI exceeding 30 percent is considered obese. Various factors can play a role in the accuracy of these calculations. For example, some athletes’ BMI can show they are overweight when they are not. However in most cases the BMI percentage is very similar to the amount of body fat a person has.
But let’s not stop there let’s talk about the F-Word. The word “fat” has been used to identify people in the overweight and obese category, when in actuality everyone who is alive has body fat. Even the leanest of the lean body builders have body fat.
A few months ago the Sporty Afros team posted blog series on growing up skinny, “thick”, and overweight. Please read that piece If you want a recap on our views addressing the weight issue in the Black female community from a cultural norms standpoint. Right here, in this blog piece I’d like to get real about the illnesses connected to obesity. Some of the illnesses are:
- Coronary heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cancers, such as endometrial, breast, and colon cancer
- High total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides.
- Liver and gallbladder disease.
- Sleep apnea and respiratory problems.
- Degeneration of cartilage and underlying bone within a joint (osteoarthritis).
- Reproductive health complications such as infertility.
- Mental health conditions
Can a person who is not overweight or obese suffer from one of the illnesses stated above? Of course. However, it is not as frequent nor is it as severe. Obesity is real and we need to address it head on. We have to talk about it and stop dancing around the issue. Everyday people are dieing from complications linked to obesity and poor health. It’s important that we take a moral inventory of ourselves and ask the question “For my height, gender, and level of physical activity, should I be concerned about my weight?”
And if you’re one of those folks yelling back at the screen “I am who I am! God made me the way He wants me to be!” My two cents on that mentality is “Yes, God made you the way you are. But He doesn’t make you or will ever make you eat fast food just about everyday, nor will He keep you from working out.” That is all…
Love, Peace, and Sweat,
Monisha I. Randolph is a Senior Contributing Blogger for Sporty Afros. Founder of Runner’s Revelations, Monisha is a RRCA Certified Distance Running Coach specializing in running clinics and training programs for beginner runners. She’s also the author of Runner’s Revelations: How Running Changed My Walk. To learn more about Monisha please visit www.runnersrevelations.com. Follow her on Twitter @RunRevelations and join the Runner’s Revelations Fan Community on Facebook.