Obesity – Why is Body Composition Important?

The body is made up of various components such as water, fat, protein, carbohydrate and a variety of vitamins and minerals. If you are storing too much fat, particularly in the waist area, you are at an increased risk for health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A higher percentage of body fat can increase your risk factors for heart related events and stroke, as obesity is medically acknowledged as a major, independent risk factor for the development of heart disease, and by losing weight you will reduce your risk and further so by continued maintenance of your optimal healthy weight range. In accurately measuring your body composition both the waist circumference and body mass index (BMI) are assessed. Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is another index of body fat distribution. However WHR is less accurate than BMI or waist circumference and is no longer recommended.

What is the waist circumference?

Your waist circumference is the distance around your natural waist (measurement taken just above the navel). If your BMI is greater than or equal to 25kg/m2 your goal for waist circumference is less than 40 inches for a man and less than 35 inches for a woman.

What is the BMI (body mass index)?

Your BMI assesses your body weight relative to your height. It’s a useful, easy to calculate measure of body compositions because it correlates highly with body fat in the majority of people. Weight in kilograms is divided by height in meters squared (kg/m2). Studies by the National Centre for Health Statistics state:

  • BMI values that are less than 18.5 are considered underweight.
  • BMI values between 18.5 and 24.9 are considered healthy.
  • Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25.0 to less than 30.0. A BMI of about 25kg/m2 relates to about 10 percent over ideal body weight. Those with BMIs in this range have an increased risk of heart and blood vessel disease.
  • Obesity is defined as a BMI of 30.0 or greater (based on NIH guidelines) – about 30 pounds or more overweight. Individuals with BMIs of 30 or more are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Morbid obesity is defined as a BMI of 40 or greater.
  • Many athletes who are highly trained will present with dense muscle mass and may have a high BMI score but very little body fat. For them the waist circumference, or more direct methods of measuring body fat may prove more useful measures.

Available on we stock the Omron BF511 Body Composition Monitor, which can be used from 6 years onwards and a weight measurement of up to 150kg. It cleverly features an 8 sensor technology using hands and feet for an entire body measurement as well as a visceral fat classification and a skeletal muscle percentage classification. Also delivering resting metabolism readings, body fat percentages and a BMI calculation, it provides a very true, accurate delivery of your body composition.

Height Minimal risk
(BMI under 25)
Moderate risk
(BMI 25–29.9)
High risk
(BMI 30 and above)
4’10” 118 lbs. or less 119–142 lbs. 143 lbs. or more
4’11” 123 or less 124–147 148 or more
5’0 127 or less 128–152 153 or more
5’1″ 131 or less 132–157 158 or more
5’2′ 135 or less 136–163 164 or more
5’3″ 140 or less 141–168 169 or more
5’4″ 144 or less 145–173 174 or more
5’5″ 149 or less 150–179 180 or more
5’6″ 154 or less 155–185 186 or more
5’7″ 158 or less 159–190 191 or more
5’8″ 163 or less 164–196 197 or more
5’9″ 168 or less 169–202 203 or more
5’10” 173 or less 174–208 209 or more
5’11” 178 or less 179–214 215 or more
6’0″ 183 or less 184–220 221 or more
6’1″ 188 or less 189–226 227 or more
6’2″ 193 or less 194–232 233 or more
6’3″ 199 or less 200–239 240 or more
6’4″ 204 or less 205–245 246 or more
22nd Mar 2018

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