Sandwich with a measuring tool looking at weight.

Weight :  The Effect of Obesity

The growing importance of diabetes today is directly related to the rapid increase in the number of overweight adults. Of course it is not limited to adults:

As many as 2 out of every 3 adult Americans are overweight, while roughly 15 percent of children and youth are overweight. Obesity increases insulin resistance. In other words, the pancreas has to make more insulin to counter the inefficiency of insulin’s action. This puts the pancreas under pressure.  With insulin not functioning properly, blood glucose levels remain higher than normal hyperglycemia.

Diabetes actually increases with the degree of obesity.  There is a direct correlation.  Excess upper body (abdominal) fat rather than lower body (on the hips) fat increases the risk of diabetes. By the time an individual has become, obese, the capacity of his pancreas to make insulin will already be about 40 percent reduced.  So stepping in and starting to reverse the process as soon as possible is of vital importance.

The American Heart Foundation make the following distinction:

“When defining overweight in children and adolescents, it’s important to consider both weight and body composition. Among American children ages 2–19, the following percentages of children are obese, using the 95th percentile or higher of body mass index (BMI) values on the CDC growth chart:

  • For non-Hispanic whites, 17.5 percent of males and 14.7 percent of females.
  • For non-Hispanic blacks, 22.6 percent of males and 24.8 percent of females.
  • For Mexican Americans, 28.9 percent of males and 18.6 percent of females.

The prevalence of obesity (BMI-for-age values at or above the 95th percentile of the 2000 CDC growth charts in children ages 2-5 increased from 4.8 percent in 1971-74 to 12.1 percent in 2009-2010. For 6–11 year old children, the prevalence of obesity increased from 4.0 percent in 1971–74 to 18.0 percent in 2009–10. The prevalence of overweight in adolescents ages 12–19 increased from 6.1 percent to 18.4 percent.”

What is BMI?

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women.  The easiest way to work this out is by going to the NIH website.

The body mass index (BMI) was developed by Adolphe Quetelet in the 1900’s for evaluating body mass. It is not related to gender and age. It uses the same formula for men as for women and children.  This makes it questionable but it still gives a good indication.

The body mass index is calculated based on the following formula:

Bodyweight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared


BMI = x kg / (y M * y M)


x=bodyweight in KG

y=height in m

Example for 175 cm height und 70 kg weight:

BMI = 70 / (1.75 * 1.75) = 22.86

The result is in kilograms by meters squared, or KG/M2. In most cases, people simply leave out this designation. It doesn’t have any real significance because humans don’t equate to real mathematical squares as the formula might suggest.