More that 123 million Americans are overweight, putting them at greater risk for heart attack, stroke, cancer and diabetes.
Measuring Body Fat
Body mass index (BMI) is measure of body fat based on height and weight. The higher the BMI, the greater the risk of some diseases, including high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, some cancers, and type 2 diabetes.
BMI Numbers - what do they mean?
For adults older than 20 years:
- A BMI below 18.5 is considered underweight.
- A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered a healthy weight.
- A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight.
- A BMI of 30 and above is considered obese.
According to the National Institutes of Health, BMI is accepted as a reliable indicator of total body fat. The score is valid for both men and women over the age of 20, but it does have some limits. The limits are:
- It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build.
- It may underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle mass.
More information on the limitations of BMI, visit the National Institutes of Health (NIH)