Obesity is perhaps the biggest preventable health epidemic in the industrialized world and especially in North America. Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the USA. It is estimated that 67% of men and 62% of American women are overweight. Obesity has significant negative effects on both female and male reproduction. Obese patients have lower success rates, higher miscarriage rates, more complications related to ovarian stimulation medications and surgery, poorer embryo quality during in vitro fertilization, and significantly higher obstetric complications.
Estimates of the severity of obesity are typically calculated using the Body Mass Index (BMI), which is a mathematical formula based on height and weight. You can calculate your BMI by clicking here. A normal BMI is between 18.5—25, overweight is between 25—29.9, & obesity is defined as a BMI>30.
An excellent internet resource on the subject of weight management & obesity can be found at: www.obesityinamerica.org This website states that “weight gain and obesity are caused by consuming more calories than the body needs – most commonly by eating a diet high in fat and calories, being sedentary or both”. However, the imbalance between calories consumed and calories burned is also influenced by a number of different obesity-related risk factors including genetic, hormonal, behavioral, environmental and even cultural”.
There are many health benefits associated with employing a responsible and safe weight-loss regimen including significant positive impacts on reproduction. There are numerous resources and programs available for achieving weight reduction.
A good starting point is to calculate both your body mass index (BMI Calculator) , and your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR Calculator). Once you have calculated your BMR, you can determine how your maximum needed calories per day by applying the Harris Benedict Equation. This formula uses your BMR and then applies an “activity factor” to determine your total daily energy expenditure (calories). The only factor omitted by the Harris Benedict Equation is lean body mass. Leaner bodies need more calories than less overweight bodies. Therefore, this equation will be very accurate in all but the very muscular (in which it will underestimate calorie needs) and the very fat (in which it will over-estimate calorie needs). If you are very overweight, and not especially active, you can therefore simply use your BMR without an “activity factor to calculate your daily caloric need.
For more resources and programs for weight management, visit these links: