The problem of excess weight: an appointment with a nutritionist, determining the body mass index

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The body mass index, or BMI, is an indi­ca­tor for assess­ing the “fat­ness” of a per­son. Weight-for-height ratio has long been used to define under­weight, nor­mal, over­weight, or some degree of obe­si­ty. Peo­ple who are iden­ti­fied as over­weight or obese should think about their health, make an appoint­ment with a nutri­tion­ist and adjust their diet in such a way as to grad­u­al­ly lose weight. How­ev­er, the use­ful­ness of BMI is often ques­tioned by experts, who say it misiden­ti­fies many peo­ple out of its cat­e­go­ry, which can under­es­ti­mate or over­es­ti­mate pos­si­ble meta­bol­ic and phys­i­cal health prob­lems.

Seeing a Dietitian: When in Doubt

In the case when there are doubts about the cor­rect­ness of one’s own diet and health prob­lems are clear­ly expressed, it will not be super­flu­ous to make an appoint­ment with a nutri­tion­ist. The spe­cial­ist will help to under­stand the prob­lems, adjust the usu­al diet in such a way that it helps to main­tain a healthy body weight. A tele­phone con­sul­ta­tion is nec­es­sary, and even bet­ter, an appoint­ment with a nutri­tion­ist if there are health prob­lems against the back­ground of BMI devi­a­tions. More­over, BMI devi­a­tions are impor­tant both in the direc­tion of defi­cien­cy and excess of mass. Also, an appoint­ment with a nutri­tion­ist can be advised by a ther­a­pist, endocri­nol­o­gist or oth­er doc­tors if they have iden­ti­fied dis­eases that, among oth­er things, also include dietary treat­ment, weight loss. But if a non-pro­fes­sion­al uses BMI in weight assess­ment, then erro­neous judg­ments are pos­si­ble.

So, when defin­ing it, some peo­ple, for exam­ple, can be clas­si­fied as over­weight or obese when they are actu­al­ly healthy, have a large amount of not fat, but mus­cle mass. At the same time, peo­ple who believe that their nor­mal BMI means that there are no health prob­lems may be left with­out due atten­tion of spe­cial­ists. What are the pros and cons of deter­min­ing BMI, will it help in the work of a nutri­tion­ist?

Assessment of body mass dynamics

BMI does not mea­sure body fat, but deter­mines the ratio of body weight to the height of the patient. It is a sim­ple base­line that you can use to eval­u­ate your progress if a per­son is try­ing to lose weight or gain weight. The tran­si­tion from the cat­e­go­ry of “over­weight” to the cat­e­go­ry of “nor­mal weight” undoubt­ed­ly lifts the mood of los­ing weight, gives strength and con­fi­dence. How­ev­er, some experts say that this is some kind of arbi­trary divid­ing line, an aver­age fig­ure.

BMI also pro­vides use­ful infor­ma­tion to doc­tors and coach­es about poten­tial health risks for a patient. For exam­ple, if a per­son is over­weight or obese accord­ing to BMI, the doc­tor may con­duct an in-depth exam­i­na­tion to rule out prob­lems asso­ci­at­ed with excess body fat. These include hyper­ten­sion, high cho­les­terol, or type 2 dia­betes. Hav­ing deter­mined accord­ing to BMI that there is over­weight, the patient may be con­cerned about his health by con­tact­ing a doc­tor.

Overweight is not always fat!

Overweight is not always fat!

Since BMI does not dis­tin­guish between fat and mus­cle mass, some ath­letes and fit­ness enthu­si­asts are con­sid­ered over­weight because they are more mus­cu­lar. So, if you cal­cu­late the BMI of body­builders, it can exceed 30.0 — this is the val­ue that is con­sid­ered a sign of obe­si­ty. Obvi­ous­ly, in this case, BMI does not objec­tive­ly assess excess weight. An even big­ger prob­lem aris­es when the cal­cu­la­tions work in the oppo­site direc­tion, plac­ing a per­son with a meta­bol­ic dis­or­der in the cat­e­go­ry of nor­mal weight. Decreased mus­cle strength and insuf­fi­cient aer­o­bic exer­cise are asso­ci­at­ed with an increased risk of devel­op­ing type 2 dia­betes, regard­less of weight or BMI. There­fore, nutri­tion­ists and doc­tors of oth­er spe­cial­ties eval­u­ate the indi­ca­tor only in com­bi­na­tion with exter­nal data, com­plaints and assess­ment of meta­bol­ic process­es accord­ing to the analy­sis.

In addi­tion, there are peo­ple who are over­weight, but they are somat­i­cal­ly healthy. In many ways, when assess­ing the gen­er­al con­di­tion, it is nec­es­sary to rely on the fea­tures of the con­sti­tu­tion, lifestyle, nutri­tion, the ratio of fat and mus­cle mass, before draw­ing final con­clu­sions.

The essence of BMI: assessing the severity of obesity

The true val­ue of BMI lies in the sim­plic­i­ty of its deter­mi­na­tion, and not in its per­fect accu­ra­cy. A patient can find out their BMI by divid­ing their weight in kilo­grams by their height in meters squared, or sim­ply by using an online cal­cu­la­tor. The result­ing val­ue can be use­ful for deter­min­ing the bound­aries of over­weight and obe­si­ty, fore­casts for one’s own health. Cal­cu­lat­ing BMI in over­weight indi­vid­u­als can help deter­mine how severe obe­si­ty is in order to start the fight against it. The main goal should be to improve the score, and this can only be done by com­par­ing the cur­rent BMI with ear­li­er mea­sure­ments. For many peo­ple who are obese, low­er­ing their BMI is a pos­i­tive incen­tive to improve their diet and increase their phys­i­cal activ­i­ty.

Additional tips, nutrition correction

Additional tips, nutrition correction

Before you start adjust­ing your diet and expand­ing the amount of phys­i­cal activ­i­ty, it is impor­tant to pay atten­tion to one more nuance. Regard­less of which BMI is deter­mined, it is always use­ful to mea­sure waist cir­cum­fer­ence as well. Abdom­i­nal fat is much more dan­ger­ous to health than the fat deposits that are stored in oth­er parts of the body. The pres­ence of abdom­i­nal fat requires more rad­i­cal changes in nutri­tion and active actions to cor­rect meta­bol­ic dis­or­ders. This is due to the fact that at the same time as the waist, inter­nal organs “get fat”, their work is dis­rupt­ed, plus, fat cells exhib­it hor­mon­al activ­i­ty, neg­a­tive­ly affect­ing metab­o­lism.

Experts spec­i­fy that men are at an increased risk of health prob­lems if their waist cir­cum­fer­ence exceeds 100 cm, and the thresh­old for women is 90 cm.

If a high BMI and dan­ger­ous val­ues ​​​​of waist cir­cum­fer­ence are deter­mined, the help of a nutri­tion­ist is need­ed in com­pil­ing a diet, smooth weight loss and expand­ing the range of phys­i­cal activ­i­ty. It is impor­tant to change the diet in such a way that the weight is lost smooth­ly, with­out sud­den jumps, and does not come back. It is nec­es­sary to rebuild the metab­o­lism not to store fats, but to active­ly spend them on the for­ma­tion of ener­gy. Then the body will grad­u­al­ly get used to the new mode of oper­a­tion, and a health­i­er body weight will be main­tained.

By Yraa

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