A report from ABC News in January said a new study released by the Mayo Clinic has stated that as many as 30 million Americans who think they are a normal weight may actually be obese based upon their ratio of fat to muscle in the body. The study followed over 6,000 Americans over nine years and discovered that 20 to 30 percent of participants were still considered obese because of an unhealthy amount of fat to muscle ratio.
Normal Weight Obesity
Called “normal weight obesity”, a previous study released by the Mayo Clinic in March of 2008 reported similar findings. Health problems such as metabolic problems and heart disease were found in people who have normal weight ranges for their body-mass index but they showed a larger amount of fat.
The study looked at people with a normal body mass index of between 18.5 and 24.9, and found that as many as half of the participants were at risk based upon their body composition. According to study scientist Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, “it’s time for a new measure of body fat as a risk factor for heart disease.”
What It Means
Both studies point to the dangers of assuming that just because someone is under a particular weight range that there is less of a risk for heart problems in the future. Too much fat can lead to inefficient metabolic rates and overall health problems.
According to HealthCentral.com, a healthy amount of body fat ranges from 12 to 18 percent in men and 19 to 25 percent in women. The average American is at 22 percent for men and 32 percent for women.
Are You Normal Weight Obese?
There is a way to find out if you’re possibly normal weight obese. First you have to calculate your body mass index. The CDC has an online calculator you can use. Your body mass index (BMI) is calculated based upon your height, weight, and body frame. Normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. If your BMI is normal then it is time to calculate your percentage of fat you have in your body currently. To do that you need a tape measure and then you measure how far around the tape measure goes around your stomach, hips, arms, wrist, and other places to determine your build. Health Central has an online calculator to use.
If your body fat percentage is over 30% then you are probably normal weight obese. If you have any concrete questions please consult with your doctor before making any decisions or determinations about your health.
This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as actual medical advice. Consult with your medical health professional about any health questions you may have.