Understanding the Different Classes of Obesity and How to Control It

Classes of obesity (Photo via AllGo - An App For Plus Size People/Unsplash)
Classes of obesity (Photo via AllGo - An App For Plus Size People/Unsplash)

There are generally three classes of obesity, which are determined by a person's body mass index (BMI). BMI is calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared.

It is important to note that BMI is not always an accurate measure of body fat and may not take into account factors such as muscle mass or body composition. Therefore, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine an appropriate course of action if you are concerned about your weight or health or if you'd like to understand more about the classes of obesity.


Understanding the Classes of Obesity

Obesity can become a health-risk factor (Photo via AllGo - An App For Plus Size People/Unsplash)
Obesity can become a health-risk factor (Photo via AllGo - An App For Plus Size People/Unsplash)

Class 1 obesity (mild to moderate obesity)

Class 1 obesity is the mildest form among classes of obesity, defined by a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 34.9. This means that someone with a height of 5'5" (165 cm) who weighs between 180 and 209 pounds (82 to 95 kg) would be classified as having class 1 obesity.

Class 1 obesity is associated with an increased risk of health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, and certain types of cancer. However, with appropriate lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet and regular exercise, many people with class 1 obesity can improve their health and reduce their risk of these conditions.


Class 2 obesity (severe obesity)

Class 2 obesity is a more severe form among classes of obesity, defined by a body mass index (BMI) between 35 and 39.9. This means that someone with a height of 5'5" (165 cm) who weighs between 210 and 249 pounds (95 to 113 kg) would be classified as having class 2 obesity.

Class 2 obesity is associated with a higher risk of health problems than class 1 obesity. People with class 2 obesity are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, and certain types of cancer. They may also have difficulty with mobility and experience joint pain.

However, with appropriate lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and sometimes medications or surgery, many people with class 2 obesity can improve their health and reduce their risk of these conditions.


Class 3 obesity (very severe or morbid obesity)

Class 3 obesity is the most severe form among classes of obesity, defined by a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher. This means that someone with a height of 5'5" (165 cm) who weighs 250 pounds (113 kg) or more would be classified as having class 3 obesity.

Class 3 obesity is associated with a significantly increased risk of health problems. People with class 3 obesity are at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, and other serious health conditions. They may also have difficulty with mobility and experience joint pain.

Due to the increased health risks associated with class 3 obesity, weight loss through lifestyle changes, medications, or weight loss surgery may be recommended to reduce the risk of obesity-related health problems.


How to Control Obesity?

Healthy diet (Photo via Louis Hansel/Unsplash)
Healthy diet (Photo via Louis Hansel/Unsplash)

Controlling any type among classes of obesity involves making lifestyle changes that promote healthy eating habits, regular physical activity, and managing stress. Here are certain strategies that you can use:

Eat a healthy diet

Focus on eating a diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoid processed foods and sugary drinks.


Get regular exercise

Try to pull in at least 90 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise each week. This can include activities such as jogging, swimming, cycling, and resistance training.


Manage stress

Stress can contribute to overeating and unhealthy eating habits. Practice stress-management techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises to help reduce stress.


Get enough sleep

Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain and obesity. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night.


Seek support

Enlist the support of family and friends to help you make healthy lifestyle changes. Consider joining a weight loss support group or working with a healthcare professional to develop a personalized plan for managing your weight.


More often than not, it is recommended that you consult a healthcare professional before embarking on a weight loss journey, especially if you’re obese. It’s important to understand where you stand between classes of obesity and to be cognizant of any underlying health conditions before you change your routine.

Edited by Susrita Das