Obesity risk still present at a healthy weight

1186279_31391153Sometimes the scale does lie. Being a healthy weight does not rule out the risk for obesity, said an expert at Baylor College of Medicine.

“Obesity is measured by excess body fat, not necessarily weight, so it is possible to have a normal weight and still be obese,” said Dr. John Foreyt, professor of medicine and director of the Behavioral Medicine Research Center at Baylor.

The average male should have about 15 percent body fat or less, and anything over 25 percent is considered obese. The average female should have 25 percent body fat or less and anything over 35 is obese, he said.

It is possible for someone to be overweight and fit, but those who are normal weight and unfit have a higher risk for cardiovascular mortality.

Those who are lean need to have a well balance diet and exercise plan. A balanced diet means 30 percent of calories from fat, about 20 percent of calories form protein and more than 50 percent should come from carbohydrates, like fruit, vegetables, bread and high-fiber cereals.

An exercise plan should include 30 to 60 minutes of brisk walking on most days of the week. Be sure to check with a physician before starting an exercise plan, said Foreyt.

Additional Resources

Looking to improve your health? Know your BMI

Exercise and the heart: Hitting your target rate


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