There are two types of fats in the human body – essential body fat and stored body fat. The first type is what is needed to maintain life and the reproductive functions, while the second type genes in the connective tissues and around the body organs and is what usually causes obesity. How can you determine what the percentage of fat in your body? Simply divide your total amount of fat by your body weight.
The ideal percentage of fat in the human body is between 1% and 19%. This means that if you have 20% body fat or higher, you are generally considered to obese.
Obesity is typically divided into three categories: mild, moderate and gross (also known as morbid obesity). Mild obesity is the most common, with 90% of obese people falling into this category. Mild obesity is diagnosed when the weight is 20% -40% above normal weight limits. Only 9% of people who suffer from obesity fall into the moderate category. Moderate obesity occurs when the weight is between 40% and 100% above the normal body weight. Lastly, only about 1% of those considered obese are classified as “grossly obese”. To grossly obese, you must weigh over 100% of your normal body weight.
Although only 1% of the obese population is considered to be grossly obese, that number is quickly rising, as child obesity rates are skyrocketing around the globe. Many fast food companies target young children with toys and greasy, fattening products. A typical children's meal at a popular fast food restaurant contains roughly 600 calories, 23 grams of fat (6g saturated), and over 800mg of sodium. Obesity is undeniably a worldwide problem, but there are ways to fight it.
Knowing your daily recommended amount of calories, fat and carbohydrates is essential for staying healthy. Many people lack one of these nutrients and consume too much of another. This leads to an unbalanced diet and can result in weight gain. It is important to know how much to eat exactly and what is present in the food that you eat. Reading nutrition information on packaged food is essential for knowing what is in your meal. Many chain restaurants offer nutritional information for most, if not all items on their menu. If you take the initiative to learn what is in your food, and you know how many calories, carbohydrates, and fat you need daily, you can lead a healthy lifestyle and fight obesity.