[Top] [All Lists]

Re: OFF TOPIC-Semantics

To: Tab Julius <>,
Subject: Re: OFF TOPIC-Semantics
From: Bill Saidel <>
Date: Thu, 03 Aug 2000 14:55:18 -0400
I'm not the medical doctor doctor but I did teach anatomy & physiology for 
a number of years. As a descriptor of the human condition, it is a 
statistical term used to describe someone based on a body mass index (BMI) 
which is colloqually about 30% overweight (if I remember the percentage 

Obesity is defined by a body-mass index (weight divided by square of the 
height) of 30 kg m(-2) or greater than expected for some "average" given an 
individual's size, body type & age. An obese person is not just heavy but 
is heavy to a particular degree greater than the definition of overweight.

I retrieved this from the US National Library of Medicine
TITLE:                       The epidemiology of obesity.
  AUTHOR:                     James WP
  AUTHOR AFFILIATION:         Rowett Research Institute, Aberdeen, UK.
  SOURCE:                     Ciba Found Symp 1996;201:1-11; discussion 
11-6, 32-6
  CITATION IDS:               PMID: 9017271 UI: 97169723
     An agreed definition of obesity as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 
or more seems to be accepted everywhere except in North America. Recent 
data confirm the importance of setting an upper individual BMI limit of 25 
kg/m2 and a population optimum of 20-23 kg/m2. Some adjustment of BMI 
should be made in individuals and populations with disproportionate shapes, 
e.g. short or long legs, and morbidity and mortality risks are especially 
important in those with a waist measurement of about 102 cm or more, the 
risk increasing from 88 cm. Waist measurements should probably now be 
substituted for the waist/hip circumference ratio.

Do you need more?


At 01:32 PM 08/03/2000 -0400, you wrote:

>It's in common use, but not really derogatory per se.  It's not restricted
>to the doctor's office, but it's just used in a descriptive way, similar to
>You could, of course, make it derogatory:
>"Boy, she is really large"
>"Boy, she is really obese"
>but you have to work at it.
>As opposed to:
>"Man, I wonder how that fat pig manages to squish themself into that tiny
>little car."
>which is a bit more derogatory.
>However, obesity itself is a sensitive condition, so describing someone may
>or may not be a sensitive topic.  But the word itself isn't particularly
>- Tab
>At 06:19 PM 8/3/00 +0100, David Hill wrote:
> >Hi,
> >
> >Can anyone help with the everyday or common usage of a word in the US?
> >The word is 'obese'-is this ever used in a derogatory way in America, or is
> >it more like a clinical or 'professional' term?
> >
> >Apologies in advance for my use of bandwidth.
> >
> >David Hill
> >
> >
> >Can I Telework for you? See what I do, at...
> >
> >Troubled by a phobia? Know someone who has one? Go to...
> >

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>