There are two common body measurements used to tell if you are overweight or obese:

  • body mass index (BMI)
  • waist circumference (WC)

Your doctor should measure these at least once a year. If you are already overweight, you should be measured more often. These measures can also help people track the progress of weight loss efforts. A healthy weight is important. Obese adults are 20% more likely to die from heart disease and other causes than normal weight adults.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

You are overweight if your BMI is 25 or greater. You are obese if your BMI is 30 or greater. BMI is a measure that adjusts body weight for height. For example, a 6-foot-tall, 180-pound person has a BMI of 24.4, which is in the normal range. A 5 foot 4 inches, 180-pound person has a BMI of 30.9, which is means they are obese. You can find out your BMI by using the online Adult BMI Calculator.

Weight Categories

Waist Circumference (WC)

WC is a simple measure of abdominal obesity. This is extra fat around your waist area. A healthy WC for men is less than 40 inches. A healthy level for an unpregnant women is less than 35 inches. If your WC is above the healthy level, you most likely have abdominal obesity.

Being obese puts you at a much higher risk for related diseases. These include diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Excess fat centered at your waist puts you at an even higher risk for these conditions.

Don't wait to lose the weight!