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Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève
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Weight excess

For a number of years, the Body Mass Index (BMI) has been used to evaluate body weight excess. This index is calculates using the following formula: weight in kg/(height in m)2. (automatically calculate your BMI).

A BMI between 20 and <25 kg/2 is considered normal. One refers to overweight with a BMI between 25 and 30, whereas a BMI >30 defines obesity.

Recently, several studies have demonstrated that the accumulation of fat in the abdomen (abdominal obesity) is closely related to the risk of developing cardiac disease, high blood pressure and diabetes (the metabolic syndrome). So in addition to determining the BMI, one also has to evaluate where the excess weight is located. The best indicator of abdominal obesity is to measure the waist circumference

Waist circumference...

To measure your waist circumference, use a measuring tape and place it half way between the lowest rib and the superior part of your hip (iliac crest).
Waist circumference conferring a risk : 

Being overweight requires the heart to work more, places greater oxygen consumption on it, increases blood pressure, decreases good cholesterol and increases the risk of developing diabetes.

In instances of being overweight, a loss of 5 to 10% of the initial weight over a period of 6 months is recommended. Management of weight can have a positive effect on risk factors (diabetes, high blood pressure, dyslipidemia…).

It is not always necessary to achieve the «healthy» weight. All reduction of weight has beneficial effects that last as long as there is no subsequent weight gain.

Regular physical exercise contributes to weight loss. This should be complemented with healthy eating habits. Speak with your physician if you wish to have specialist advice. You will be directed to a nutritionist who will evaluate your eating habits and will give you advice and guide you through appropriate changes to be made.

Last modification on 27/09/2010