The world often confuses obesity and being overweight as being one but its time we construe the difference between overweight and obesity. Being overweight and obese are two different things as defined by the World Health Organisation and it is important that we know the underlying difference between the two.
Knowing The Difference
The difference between the two can be understood in terms of the Body Mass Index (BMI). While overweight is the one whose BMI is greater than or equal to 25, whereas obesity is a condition of the BMI being greater than or equal to 30. This difference is how the WHO defines it for adults. The BMI is the most useful measure of obesity and being overweight as it is applicable to both the genders across all ages.
“Every Obese Person is Overweight but everyone who is overweight may or may not be obese”
As per the WHO, in 2016 more than 1.9 billion adults globally were overweight. Out of these 1.9 billion adults, 650 million people were obese. Of adults, more than 18 years of age, around 39% were overweight and around 13% were obese. Most of the world’s population lives in nations where overweight and obesity claims more lives than underweight conditions.
In 2016, 41 million children under the age of five were overweight or obese. The WHO also stated that in 2016 more than 340 million children and adolescents between the age of 5 and 19 were either overweight or obese. Worldwide obesity has increased three times since the figures of 1975.
What are the causes of obesity and overweight?
Conditions of overweight and obesity are caused when there is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. The main causes are
- High consumption of energy-dense foods which carry a heavy proportion of fats.
- Hike in physical inactivity due to sedentary nature and increasing urbanisation.
Transformations in the dietary patterns and physical activities are a part of environmental and societal changes. Theswe changes often come without supportive policies in the health sector. So, now we hope that you have well understood the difference between obesity and overweight conditions.