According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s latest statistics, 97 million Americans are overweight or obese. And these numbers are increasing. Excess weight is often accompanied by higher likelihood to develop obesity related diseases (high blood pressure, type II diabetes, etc.) So how to you know if you are overweight?
Overweight is commonly defined as a BMI of 25-29.9, with obesity starting at a BMI or 30. BM, or Body Mass Index,is based on a formula of your height and weight. You can calculate yours by and typing in your height and weight in our online BMI calculator.
There are also many BMI charts online where you can look up your height and weight to determine BMI. It is important to remember, however, that BMI is not a direct measure of body fatness and that BMI is calculated from an individual’s weight which includes both muscle and fat. As a result, some individuals may have a high BMI but not be overweight due to having a low bodyfat percentage. For example, highly trained athletes may have a high BMI because of increased muscularity rather than increased body fatness.
Your percentage of body fat is the percentage of your total body weight that is fat. Muscle, bones, organs, etc., is considered lean body mass. Measuring body fat percentage is helpful in assessing your overall health and determining whether or not you are overweight. See chart below for healthy body fat percentages. It is interesting to note than two people can be at the same weight, yet vary greatly in bodyfat percentages, depending on how much muscle each has.
One more method for assessing someone’s likelihood of developing overweight- or obesity related diseases is waist circumference. Your waistline may be telling you that you have a higher risk of developing obesity-related conditions if you are:
- A man whose waist circumference is more than 40 inches
- A non-pregnant woman whose waist circumference is more than 35 inches
Excessive abdominal fat is serious because it places you at greater risk for developing obesity-related conditions, such as Type 2 Diabetes, high blood cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease. So waist size is yet another indicator of a healthy body. So what is the most accurate indicator of your overall health? BMI, Body fat, waist circumference? They are all important indicators, knowing all three can give you a total picture of your likelihood to develop obesity related diseases.
If you’d like to learn more about the Centegra Weight-Loss Institute, and how we can help you achieve your weight loss goals, call us at 877-CENTEGRA or contact us online.
ACSM Certified Personal Trainer