Fats are a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and generally insoluble in water. Chemically, fats are triglycerides: triesters of glycerol and any of several fatty acids. Fats may be either solid or liquid at room temperature, depending on their structure and composition. Although the words "oils", "fats", and "lipids" are all used to refer to fats, in reality, fat is a subset of lipid. "Oils" is usually used to refer to fats that are liquids at normal room temperature, while "fats" is usually used to refer to fats that are solids at normal room temperature. "Lipids" is used to refer to both liquid and solid fats, along with other related substances, usually in a medical or biochemical context, which are not soluble in water. The word "oil" is also used for any substance that does not mix with water and has a greasy feel, such as petroleum (crude oil), heating oil, and essential oils, regardless of its chemical structure.
Fats form a category of lipid, distinguished from other lipids by their chemical structure and physical properties. This category of molecules is important for many forms of life, serving both structural and metabolic functions. They are an important part of the diet of most heterotrophs (including humans). Fats or lipids are broken down in the body by enzymes called lipases produced in the pancreas.
Examples of edible animal fats are lard, fish oil, butter/ghee and whale blubber. They are obtained from fats in the milk and meat, as well as from under the skin, of an animal. Examples of edible plant fats include peanut, soya bean, sunflower, sesame, coconut and olive oils, and cocoa butter. Vegetable shortening, used mainly for baking, and margarine, used in baking and as a spread, can be derived from the above oils by hydrogenation.
These examples of fats can be categorized into saturated fats and unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats can be further divided into cis fats, which are the most common in nature, and trans fats, which are rare in nature but present in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Overweight is having more body fat than is optimally healthy. Being overweight is a common condition, especially where food supplies are plentiful and lifestyles are sedentary.
Excess weight has reached epidemic proportions globally, with more than 1 billion adults being either overweight or obese in 2003. In 2013 this increased to more than 2 billion. Increases have been observed across all age groups.
A healthy body requires a minimum amount of fat for the proper functioning of the hormonal, reproductive, and immune systems, as thermal insulation, as shock absorption for sensitive areas, and as energy for future use. But the accumulation of too much storage fat can impair movement and flexibility, and can alter the appearance of the body.
The degree to which a person is overweight is generally described by body mass index (BMI). Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25 or more, thus it includes pre-obesity defined as a BMI between 25 and 30 and obesity as defined by a BMI of 30 or more. Pre obese and overweight however are often used interchangeably thus giving overweight a common definition of a BMI of between 25 -30. There are however several other common ways to measure the amount of adiposity or fat present in an individual's body.
- Body mass index The body mass index (BMI) is a measure of a person's weight taking into account their height. It is given by the formula: BMI equals a person's weight (mass) in kilograms divided by the square of the person's height in metres. The units therefore are kg/m2 but BMI measures are typically used and written without units. BMI provides a significantly more accurate representation of body fat content than simply measuring a person's weight. It is only moderately correlated with both body fat percentage and body fat mass (R2 of 0.68). It does not take into account certain factors such as pregnancy or bodybuilding; however, the BMI is an accurate reflection of fat percentage in the majority of the adult population.
- Body volume index The body volume index (BVI) was devised in 2000 as a computer, rather than manual, measurement of the human body for obesity and an alternative to the BMI Body volume index uses 3D software to create an accurate 3D image of a person so BVI can differentiate between people with the same BMI rating, but who have a different shape and different weight distribution. BVI measures where a person's weight and the fat are located on the body, rather than total weight or total fat content and places emphasis on the weight carried around the abdomen, commonly known as central obesity. There has been an acceptance in recent years that abdominal fat and weight around the abdomen constitute a greater health risk.
- Simple weighing The person's weight is measured and compared to an estimated ideal weight. This is the easiest and most common method, but by far the least accurate, as it only measures one quantity (weight) and often does not take into account many factors such as height, body type, and relative amount of muscle mass.
- Skinfold calipers or "pinch test" The skin at several specific points on the body is pinched and the thickness of the resulting fold is measured. This measures the thickness of the layers of fat located under the skin, from which a general measurement of total amount of fat in the body is calculated. This method can be reasonably accurate for many people, but it assumes particular fat distribution patterns over the body—which may not apply to all individuals, and does not account for fat deposits not directly under the skin. Also, as the measurement and analysis generally involves a high degree of practice and interpretation, an accurate result requires that a professional perform it. It cannot generally be done by patients themselves.
- Bioelectrical impedance analysis A small electrical current is passed through the body to measure its electrical resistance. As fat and muscle conduct electricity differently, this method can provide a direct measurement of the body fat percentage, in relation to muscle mass. In the past, this technique could only be performed reliably by trained professionals with specialized equipment, but it is now possible to buy home testing kits that let people do this themselves with a minimum of training. Despite the improved simplicity of this process over the years, however, a number of factors can affect the results, including hydration and body temperature, so it still needs some care when taking the test to ensure that the results are accurate.
- Hydrostatic weighing Considered one of the more accurate methods of measuring body fat, this technique involves complete submersion of a person in water, with special equipment to measure the person's weight while submerged. This weight is then compared with "dry weight" as recorded outside the water to determine overall body density. As fat is less dense than muscle, careful application of this technique can provide a reasonably close estimate of fat content in the body. This technique does, however, require expensive specialized equipment and trained professionals to administer it properly.
- Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) Originally developed to measure bone density, DEXA imaging is also used to precisely determine body fat content by using the density of various body tissues to identify which portions of the body are fat. This test is generally considered very accurate, but requires a great deal of expensive medical equipment and trained professionals to perform.
The most common method for discussing this subject and the one used primarily by researchers and advisory institutions is BMI. Definitions of what is considered overweight vary by ethnicity. The current definition proposed by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) designates whites, Hispanics and blacks with a BMI of 25 or more as overweight. For Asians, overweight is a BMI between 23 and 29.9 and obesity for all groups is a BMI of 30 or more.
BMI, however, does not account extremes of muscle mass, some rare genetic factors, the very young, and a few other individual variations. Thus it is possible for an individuals with a BMI of less than 25 to have excess body fat, while others may have a BMI that is significantly higher without falling into this category. Some of the above methods for determining body fat are more accurate than BMI but come with added complexity.
If an individual is overweight and has excess body fat it could, but won't always, create or lead to health risks. Reports are surfacing, however, that being mildly overweight to slightly obese – BMI being between 24 and 31.9 – may be actually beneficial and that people with BMI between 24 and 31.9 could actually live longer than normal weight or underweight persons.
Chubby means plump or slightly round. It does not imply gross obesity like the word "fat" does. Babies and cherubs are referred to often as chubby so the word takes on a cuteness in its implication.
slightly fat in a way that looks healthy and attractive:
"A chubby six-year-old. A baby with round chubby cheeks."
Fat, overweight, obese, chubby, plump, big, well-built. In general, people do not like to be called fat. But some ways to say "fat" are less rude than others. Fat is a very direct word. You might use it about yourself but it will usually cause offence if you use it about someone else. "I'm so fat at the moment!"
Overweight is a more polite way to say that someone is fatter than they usually are or than they should be. "She is a little overweight."
Obese is a word used especially by doctors to describe people who are very fat, in a way that is bad for their health.
Chubby is a more informal word and is used especially of children or of rounded body parts such as cheeks or knees.plump means fat and rounded in a pleasant way.
A plump, motherly woman, big and well-built are fairly polite ways to describe someone with a large, strong, or fat body. "For big men like him, air travel can be uncomfortable."
Chubby Checker is the man who sang the song "The Twist." It was his nickname and stage name. His real name was Ernest Evans. People called him chubby because he was overweight but well loved by many so being chubby became an positive attribute for him. Much like Santa Claus.
The word chubby itself was around long before he was. It did not originate with him. It actually extends back to the 1600's. A chub was a short, thick fish used as bait.
Since 1558 it's been used to describe a "lazy person."