How to Know if Your Weight Is Unhealthy

What is Your Risk For Obesity-Associated Diseases?

1. Body Mass Index (BMI)

Use the BMI calculator or tables to estimate your total body fat. If your BMI falls between 25 and 30, you are considered overweight. And, if your BMI is 30 or higher, you are considered obese.

2. Waist Circumference

Determine your waist circumference by placing a measuring tape snugly around your waist. It is a good indicator of your abdominal fat which is another predictor of your risk for developing risk factors for heart disease and other diseases. This risk increases with a waist measurement of over 40 inches in men and over 35 inches in women

3. Other Risk Factors

Besides being overweight or obese, there are additional risk factors to consider.

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High LDL-cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol)
  • Low HDL-cholesterol ("good" cholesterol)
  • High triglycerides
  • High blood glucose (sugar)
  • Family history of premature heart disease
  • Physical inactivity
  • Cigarette smoking

(Source: "Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults: Evidence Report," NHLBI Expert Panel. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 1998.)