1.5

## Obesity

Skip to 0 minutes and 4 secondsSo what is obesity? The World Health Organisation defines obesity as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. They use body mass index, BMI, as a simple index of the relationship between a person's weight in relation to their height. It's defined as a person's weight in kilogrammes divided by the square of their height in metres. If you're not familiar with the term "square," it just means multiplying the height by itself. So, for example, if you're 1.7 metres tall, the square of your height is 1.7 times 1.7, which is 2.89. And if your weight is 70 kilogrammes, then your BMI is 70 divided by 2.89, which is 24.2.

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 secondsBut you don't need to worry too much about the calculation, as we have an app in the course for you to look at your own BMI in week two. We'll also see later why it's not necessarily the most appropriate measure in relation to health. But BMI is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. The World Health Organisation definition is a BMI of 24 or less is normal. A BMI greater than or equal to 25 is overweight. A BMI greater than or equal to 30 is obese. A BMI greater than or equal to 35 is severe obesity. And a BMI greater than or equal to 40 is classified as morbidly obese.

# Definitions and prevalence of obesity

In this video we explore some of the measures we use to define obesity, such as body mass index (BMI), and consider the implications of some obesity-related statistics provided by the World Health Organisation.

BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in metres. We could represent this mathematically as BMI = weight ÷ (height × height).

So if I weigh 60kg and I am 1.6m tall I would calculate my BMI as follows:

First I multiply my height by itself to get the square of my height: 1.6 × 1.6 = 2.56. I can then divide my weight by this number to find my BMI: 60 ÷ 2.56 = 23.4 (rounded to one decimal place).

Let’s look at what the resulting numbers mean:

• 18 - 24.9 is considered healthy.
• greater than or equal to 25 is considered overweight.
• greater than or equal to 30 is considered obese.
• greater than or equal to 40 is considered morbidly obese.

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