Are You Overweight or Obese? Know the Key Differences

“Overweight” and “obese” — these two words are commonly interchanged. While both of them refer to weighing more than normal, however, one is not the same as the other. In this article, we will discuss some of the most important differences between the two, as well as additional matters such as getting your BMI.

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There is something that is used in order to determine whether an individual is overweight or obese, and it’s called BMI. Short for body mass index, it is a number that is derived from the weight and height of a person. Do take note that when computing your BMI, your weight should be in kilograms and your height should be in meters.

Here are the simple steps to determine your BMI:

  • Multiply your height (in meters) by 2.
  • Divide your weight (in kilograms) by the number you have obtained earlier.

For example, a woman stands 1.70 meters and tips the scale at 65.7 kilograms. In order to have her BMI obtained, she needs to multiply her height by 2, which results in 3.4. Then her weight has to be divided by the number obtained, and that results in 19.32 — this is the said woman’s BMI.

That’s how quick and simple it is to compute one’s BMI. According to medical experts, a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is within the healthy and normal range. If it’s between 25.0 and 29.9, then it means a person is overweight. An individual is regarded as obese if his or her BMI is 30 and above.

As you can see, an obese person has a higher BMI than someone who is overweight — this is one of the key differences between overweight and obese. Let us take a look at some of the other things that set them apart:


Someone who eats more food than necessary is very much likely to end up being overweight. Sometimes the genes are role players as well — being overweight tends to run in families.

The causes of obesity are the same as the ones mentioned above. However, there are a few additions to the list. A sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, depression, high levels of stress and hormonal imbalance are considered as the usual root causes of obesity.

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Did you know that these days, it is estimated by health experts that about 1 billion people are overweight? That’s how very common the problem is. They add that it is a global problem, which means that there are overweight people across the face of the planet. By the way, it is said that around 22 million of kids below 5 years of age are overweight.

On the other hand, over 300 million people on the planet are obese, and many of them can be found in developed countries. What’s even scarier is this: of all the 22 million overweight kids, up to 5 percent of them are obese!


People who are overweight are at risk of ending up with high blood pressure or hypertension. Also, it is very much likely for them to feel depressed because of the stigma attached to being overweight.

Obesity, in contrast, can cause more complications. According to medical professionals, someone who is obese is at high risk of having high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.


Someone who is overweight is encouraged to reduce his or her intake of unhealthy foods and focus more on healthy ones. Also, increased physical activity and exercising regularly can help eliminate excess weight.

The same treatments recommended for overweight people will also work excellently for obese individuals. However, in extreme cases, obesity may be surgically dealt with. For instance, gastric banding and gastric bypass are treatments available for obese people, but not overweight ones.

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