Normal weight obesity: Are you surprised?
Look at yourself …. You fit in a perfect athletic frame. For your height, your weight is more or less good and the BMI is normal too. But your recent body composition analysis at a local gym shows a complete different picture. It shows a high level of body fat, less percent of muscle mass and other components of body. Is it really possible? You don’t look fat but there is a lot of fat in you. It is possible that you may just blame the machine at the gym and put a full stop at the thought of being overweight or obese. Please stop and think twice!! Thin or normal weight people can also get heart attacks. Normal weight obesity is a condition where a person at a normal weight for height shows a high percent of fat and thus develops all kinds of risks as that of any overweight or obese person.
To simplify the concept our body weight is made up of body fat, muscles, water, and bones. Each of them is present in a particular proportion. These proportions may differ but finally make up the defined weight. Now in case of normal weight obesity the weight of muscle mass and bones may be less whereas the fat weight may be more than normal, averaging the final weight to normal. Normal weight obesity carries risk of heart disease, diabetes, high triglycerides, abnormal cholesterol levels and metabolic syndrome too.
How will you know that you might be carrying that fat load in your body?
The Body Mass Index (BMI) is one of the means of telling you that your weight is more, correct or less for your height. But it fails to describe the inside account. BMI might be calculated high in case of athletes. Their weight maybe high but it is due to the large amount of muscle mass that is present in the body. It is the Body Composition Analysis (BCA) method which reveals the exact status of the body. The BCA method makes use of bio-electrical impedance to fat thereby revealing the total weight of fat, water and muscles individually present in the body. Skin fold measurement, waist to hip ratio can be used additionally to confirm the normal weight obesity.
Losing weight by following diets alone may not be the complete solution. The goal is not to lose weight but to modify the body composition. In case of being a little overweight (BMI>25) weight loss will be needed. Quite often a person on a diet regime loses weight easily but the BCA chart does not show much of a difference in the fat percent. In fact there is loss of muscle mass that is observed which can be very harmful for the person.
The key to achieve a healthy weight loss as well as a balanced body composition is exercising along with dieting. Aerobics, resistance training can be combined with a healthy balanced diet to achieve the desired goal.
Thus the concept of normal weight obesity helps us understand the different parameters that make up our body composition. Further it will help us appreciate the importance of healthy, active lifestyle that is needed not only for a normal weight but for a healthy body composition.