Obesity is defined as an increase in body weight due to fat. To calculate the amount of excess fat, and therefore measure obesity, anthropometric measurements or indirect methods of calculating the amount of fatty tissue are used.
Anthropometric measurements refer to the measuring of different parts of the body. They include indirect methods for measuring total body fat, which are aimed at classifying individuals according to their weight (body mass index and measurement of skin folds among others), as well as measurements that determine the amount of fat in different parts of the body (like the triceps skin fold, or the circumference of the arm, wrist, waist and hips).
The results obtained from these measurements can be used to evaluate an individual’s nutritional state and to identify, and therefore prevent, excess weight due to fat.