How Do You Measure Obesity?

Dr. Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC, Endocrinologist, discusses measurement of obesity.

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Dr. Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC, Endocrinologist, discusses measurement of obesity.
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Featuring Dr. Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC

Duration: 1 minute, 30 seconds

Although historically we've used body mass index as part of the criteria to diagnose obesity, again a BMI over 30 as being diagnostic, in fact, BMI has been criticized as an imperfect measure.

It doesn't account for muscle, so an individual with a large muscle mass will have a higher BMI, but actually not an increased risk.

And a better measure is actually the amount of abdominal fat, so clinically you can measure your abdominal circumference or it can be done by your healthcare practitioner or the person who's assessing you as your exercise specialist, anyone can really do it.

And the abdominal circumerense is a reflection of how much visceral fat you have. Visceral fat is the fat that's inside your abdomen, not the fat you can pinch but the fat inside. It's around the bowel, it's around your organs and it is bad fat.

It is fat that carries with it an increased insulin resistance, makes it harder to metabolize sugar, makes it more likely you're going to get diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and increased risk of cancer. So how much fat you have is very, very critical.

If you have any questions about obesity, the measurement or treatment of it, please do discuss it with your primary care practitioner.

Presenter: Dr. Richard Bebb, Endocrinologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Endocrinologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.