From ArticleWorld

Overweight is a relatively common condition for many people, particularly in developed nations. It can also be found in animals.



Someone is overweight when they have more body fat than is normal or required for functioning of the body. A human body requires some body fat, usually 12-15 percent for women and 3-6 percent for men in order to assure proper function of the body's systems.


Weight can be calculated in a variety of ways:

  • Weighing.
  • Body Mass Index, which takes the weight over height squared. A BMI over 25 is considered obese.
  • Pinch test with skinfold calipers, where the skin at certain points is pinched to measure the thickness of the resulting fold.
  • Bioelectric impedance, which passes a small electrical current through the body to measure its resistance to the electrical flow. This is effective since fat and muscle conduct electric differently.
  • Hydrostatic weighing is considered one of the most accurate methods; it measures weight while submerged against the dry weight. This is effective since fat is less dense than muscle.
  • Dual Energy X-ray Absorptionmetry, or DEXA, is a precise way to measure body fat by using various body tissues.


There are several health issues that are associated with obesity and overweight humans. It is generally believed that even being slightly overweight may have serious short- and long-term health implications.


Overweight humans become overweight from regularly consuming more calories than they expend. There are several aspects that may influence this imbalance.

  • Sedentary lifestyle and limited activity.
  • Genetics.
  • High glycemic diet.
  • Weight cycling.
  • Illness, specifically thyroid issues.
  • Eating disorders.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Stress.
  • Medications.


Even if one is slightly overweight, measures should be taken to prevent the problem extending. Counseling as to proper diet and exercise is recommended. If results are not seen, a medical professional may advise medications or - in extreme cases - surgery.