Medical studies have shown that the “weight management” by reducing excess body fat plays a crucial role in fighting disease and maintaining excellent health. Research has also linked the stress of excess fat on the main physical conditions such as cancer, stroke, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Excess body fat is truly unhealthy. One of the best ways to find out if you are normal, overweight or obese is by determining your BMI, or body mass index. To calculate BMI, take your weight (in kilograms), and divide it by your height (in meters) squared. Goals: • 25.0 to 30.0 means you are overweight, • 30.0 to 40.0 points on obesity • 40 and above will be classified as morbidly obese. Since BMI describes body weight relative to height, it is strongly associated with total body fat content in adults – children’s calculations are more complex because it must also take into gender and age into account. Body shape and distribution of body fat is important in determining the number of health risks. As your body shape, and where the fat bulge is hiding, is actually relevant to your health. For example, the fat releases fervently into the bloodstream. This means that the ‘pot-belly “victims are more at risk of getting narrowing of the artery, diabetes and cancer. Fat stored primarily in the lower half of the body such as the buttocks, thighs and hips does not seem to have the same risk factors. In addition, the weight in the “belt layer” areas are generally characteristic of men more than women. Who is truly at risk of disease? Contrary to popular belief, there is only one big risk for the disease. A small person with big belly fat stores (i.e, “belly”) enhances his / her chances of getting sick as well. Connection between health risks and body fat distribution is usually determined as follows: • Least risk – slim built people without belly fat• Moderate risk – overweight people without belly fat• Moderate to high risk – slim built people with belly fat• High risk – overweight people with belly fat. With waist circumference health risk indicator waist sex shows, health problems of men and women are different. For men: • 94 cm to 101 cm – the risk increases • 102 cm or more – substantially increased risk. Women: • 80 cm to 87 cm – risk increases • 88 cm or more – substantially increased risk. Important additional information • Most people store their body fat in two distinct areas: around the hips and around their middle (apple shape). • A person who has these genes will increasingly tend to develop fat around the waist. • Be physically active enough and stop smoking will help reduce body fat. • Eating unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats may reduce the risk of abdominal obesity. • Age counts also. Males older than 45, and postmenopausal women with too much body fat increases their chances of getting seriously ill.