Overweight and Obesity

Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Body mass index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for – height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. It is defined as a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters (Kg/m2).


The WHO definition is as follows:
• A BMI greater than or equal to 25 is overweight
• A BMI greater than or equal to 30 is obesity




Overweight and obesity are the fifth leading risk for global deaths. Approximately 2.8 people die yearly as a result of being overweight or obese. It is scientifically proven that overweight and obesity are strongly correlated with several chronic conditions. Studies indicate that 44% of the diabetes burdens, 23% of ischemic heart disease burden and between 7% – 41% of certain cancer burdens are attributable to excessive weight.




According to a 2008 WHO estimates, over 1.4 billion adults 20 and older are overweight. In 2011, more than 40 million children under the age of five were overweight and over 10% of the world’s population is obese. Previously, excessive weight was more associated with people from developed countries. However, overweight and obesity are now on the rise in developing nations particularly in urban settings. More than 30 million overweight children are living in developing countries and 10 million in developed countries. These children are exposed to high fat, high sugar, high salt, energy dense, and micronutrient poor foods which tend to be lower in cost and lower in nutrient quality.


CAGISC’s Goal for overweight and obesity is to promote healthy diets and weights while eliminating hunger in high risk populations. 


CAGISC’s strategies to fight against overweight and obesity aligns with the objectives of “Healthy People 2020” which include the following:

  • Encourage primary care physicians to routinely assess body mass index (BMI) for adult patients.
  • Encourage primary care physicians to routinely assess body mass index for age and sex of their child or adolescent patients.
  • Identify individuals at risk and provide education on nutrition, weight reduction and physical activity.
  • Reduce household food insecurity and hunger by supplementing with healthy foods.