Definitions of Weighty Terms
Because weight assessment does not distinguish between the body’s fat mass and fat-free mass, it is not always possible to establish a person’s body fat status precisely.
The relationship between three categories of body weight and body fat can be described according to five different people categories.
- 1. Overweight not obese
- Athletic or muscular body types (bodybuilders) who have normal or low body fat even though they are overweight according to standard charts.
- 2. Underweight and lean
- Lean, thin or linear body body types with low amounts of fat-free mass (endurance athletes) who can be underweight according to the weight charts and extremely low in body fat yet physically very healthy.
- 3. Average healthy weight
- People of average weight and average body fat mass.
- 4. Overweight and obese
- Big, heavy and soft body types who are overweight and obese from large amounts of fat mass and body weight.
- 5. Obese not overweight.
- People (often the elderly) who have too much fat mass and are obese but not overweight due to inactive and sedentary lifestyles.
- refers to the total weight of the body including bones, muscle, fat, water, etc.
- is defined as a body weight that exceeds the acceptable weight for a particular person, based on individual height and/or frame size. Standards are usually determined solely on the basis of population averages that can and do change over time. Standards may also vary with gender and ethnicity. An overweight person does not necessarily have too much fat nor increased health risks if the excess weight is due to an above-average amount of muscle.
- is the condition where the individual has an excessive amount of body fat. Over 30 specific diseases have been linked to obesity.
- Percentage Body Fat
- is the percentage of total body weight that is fat
- Fat Mass
- means the actual fat mass (in pounds or kilos) in the body.
- Body Fat
- functions as insulation, protection and energy reserve. When the percentage is too high, fat increases a person’s risk of high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer. It can also interfere with the immune system, prevent heat loss, stress the musculoskeletal system, cause sleep problems, and may affect self-esteem.
- Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
- is the rate at which the body burns calories to maintain normal body functions while at rest. It is affected by the amount of muscle you have. Body weight remains constant when you burn up the same number of calories that you eat. A 3,500 calorie difference between dietary intake and energy expenditure is necessary to gain or lose one pound of fat. Weight loss by diet alone may result in a loss of muscle, and this will slow your metabolic rate, making it more difficult to keep the weight off. Exercise, however increases your metabolic rate for hours even after exercise and can increase the amount of muscle you have.