:: Health Conditions - Obesity
- How to Measure Obesity
bathroom scale may give you a measure of your weight and help
you follow changes in your weight, but it is not the best
way to determine if you are overweight or obese, or at risk
for developing obesity and its related health conditions.
Other measurements can help you find out more about your body
1. Body Mass Index (BMI):
BMI is a number based on both your height and weight. It can
help you determine the degree to which you may be overweight
and gives a reasonable assessment of total body fat for the
Knowing your BMI is important for you and your family, because
it correlates better with health conditions like heart disease
and type 2 diabetes than does weight itself. BMI is not perfect.
Some people, like athletes, may measure a high BMI but have
more muscle than fat. Source: Body
Mass Index Calculator
:: What does your BMI mean?
BMI "cutpoints" are numbers used to help you determine
if you are at a healthy weight, overweight, obese or severely
18.5 to 24.9
25 to 29.9
30 to 34.9
35 to 39.9
40 or more
:: Are Height / Weight Tables the same thing as BMI?
No. Height / Weight Tables were first developed by life insurance
companies in 1908 to determine insurance rates based on how
long people were expected to live. The tables are based on
a non-representative sample of people, between the ages of
25 and 59, who purchased life insurance (excluding those with
major diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes).
Height / Weight Tables identify an ideal weight range for
each height, and BMI uses cutpoints (listed above) for you
to identify if you are at a healthy weight, overweight, obese
or severely obesity, based on your height. Here are some other
differences between BMI and Height / Weight Tables:
- Unlike the tables, BMI corresponds generally to measurements
of body fat.
- Height / Weight Tables are not designed to predict disease
risk, but BMI can. The higher the BMI, the higher your risk
of developing certain diseases associated with obesity.
- Medical researchers often use BMI, not Height / Weight
Tables, when studying the effect of body weight on health.
- There is one BMI chart used for adult men, women who are
not pregnant and generally for all racial/ethnic groups.
There are separate Height / Weight Tables for men and women.
2. Waist Circumference
Apple-shaped? If you have never heard the term, it means carrying
excess weight in the stomach region, also called abdominal
fat. Waist circumference measurement is used to determine
health risks related specifically to abdominal fat.
:: How to measure waist circumference.
Measure your waist size by wrapping a tape measure around
the area above your hip bone and below your rib cage.
:: What does your waist measurement mean?
For Men: 40 inches or more
For Women: 35 inches or more
If your waist measurement is more than that listed above,
and your BMI is between 25 and 34.9, you have an increased
risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular
3. Combined Measurements
You can have a BMI that indicates you have a healthy weight,
but still have a waist measurement above the healthy range.
Knowing both your BMI and Waist Circumference can give you
better assessment of risk for developing obesity and its related
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