Up to 76% of people are 'overfat'. Are you one of them?

25 July 2017 - 14:02 By AFP Relaxnews
Up to 76% of the world's population could be classed as 'overfat', say researchers.
Up to 76% of the world's population could be classed as 'overfat', say researchers.
Image: iStock

If your waist measures more than half your height then you could be "overfat" according to a new report, which suggests that up to 90% of men and 80% of women in developed countries may fall into this category.

Published in Frontiers in Public Health, the article explains that the global overfat pandemic is more prevalent in developed countries than developing ones and that 50% of children in developed countries may also suffer from being overfat. 

Overfat refers to carrying excess body fat that can impair health; it can even include normal-weight non-obese individuals.

To calculate whether you are overfat the researchers advice against using more traditional methods of assessing a healthy body weight, such as scales or calculating Body Mass Index (BMI), stating that they are not effective when calculating if someone is overfat.

Instead, researchers recommend taking a measurement of the waistline at the level of the belly button and comparing it to height, explaining that this waist measurement should be less than half a person's height.

Being overfat is linked to an increased risk of a variety of conditions including hypertension, dyslipidemia, coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis and gout, pulmonary diseases, sleep apnea and others.

Although the rates of those classed as overfat are particularly high in the English-speaking United States and New Zealand, the problem is also growing in countries such as Iceland and Greece where the people and lifestyles are generally considered healthier.

The trend also appears to be on the rise across the globe, including in developing countries, with researchers Philip Maffetone, Ivan Rivera-Dominguez and Paul B. Laursen reporting earlier this year in the same journal that up to 76% of the world's population may be overfat.

Physically active people may also be classed as overfat, including professional athletes in various sports and active US military personnel.

There has also been a recent rise in the rates of abdominal adiposity - excess fat around the stomach and the unhealthiest form of excess body fat - in both adults and children.