Obesity is a major concern nowadays as many people have suffered from it. The quantity of obese people is on the rise in most of the countries in this world. Obesity is very dangerous as it can lead to other chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, joint diseases and many more. However, all of these diseases can be prevented if obesity is diagnosed and treated early. So, how do you diagnose obesity? What are the tests involved? Do you need to undergo a blood test? All these questions we will try to answer in the following article.
Obesity is usually diagnosed at health care settings such as a hospital or clinics. However, some governments also introduced a home diagnostic kit that allows a person to diagnose obesity at their own place, making it easier and very convenient to use. There are some procedures that you need to undergo in order to diagnose obesity. These include:
- Physical exam
Your doctor will do a general physical examination during the screening. This is to ensure that they check for any possible physical illness that you have. The examinations included taking your height, weight, general head to toe assessment and also vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate and temperature.
- Body mass index (BMI)
Your body mass index is also supposed to be calculated. You might have heard about BMI before this. BMI is essential to tell whether your physical attribute is considered as obese or not. In order to calculate a BMI, a measurement of height and weight from your previous physical examination are needed. BMI equals your weight in kilogram (kg) over your height in meter (m) squared. The chart below shows the physical categories according to their respective calculated BMI.
- Below 18.5: Underweight
- 18.5-24.9: Healthy weight
- 25 -29.9: Overweight
- 30 and above: Obese
- 40 or higher: Severely obese, also known as morbidly obese
According to this chart, a normal person will have a BMI of 18.5 until 24.9. Meanwhile, an obese person will have a calculated BMI of 30 and above. This is one of the popular ways that doctors usually use in order to diagnose obesity. You can also easily calculate your own BMI at your home.
- Blood tests
Diagnostic testing for obesity might include some blood tests. This includes tests such as cholesterol level, fasting blood sugar level, liver function test and thyroid function test. All of these tests are usually done depending on a lot of factors such as risk factors, underlying disease and also current symptoms.
After all these procedures, your doctor will decide whether you are considered as obese or not. If you are diagnosed with obesity, your doctor might ask you to consider changing your certain lifestyle. This includes:
- Exercise regularly
A regular exercise is recommended to reduce your weight. 30 minutes of exercise for 5 days a week is the optimal choice. Remember to choose the best exercise that suits your lifestyle.
Taking a healthy diet is the other main way to fight obesity. Diet means that you need to choose healthy food with the correct portion. Besides, you might also want to cut down your sugar intake, cholesterol intake and also junk foods.
- Stop drinking or smoking
Drinking alcohol and smoking can contribute to obesity. It is good if you can reduce these two habits of yours. But, it is even better if you can stop it completely.
If you think that you are overweight and at risk of becoming obese, you might want to consider checking your BMI on your won. Better, you can opt to go to a nearby health care to take a diagnostic obesity test. Remember, prevention is better than cure.