Adapted from: U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; U.S. National Institutes of Health (2000). The Practical Guide: Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. (NIH Publication No. 00-4084). Available online: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/prctgd_c.pdf
Use the chart to locate your height and weight. The shaded regions on the chart correspond to normal and overweight ranges based on body mass index (BMI). Keep in mind that this is only a guide. It is not a tool to determine ideal body weight. It is a tool to help you see whether your weight is increasing your risk for disease. People who are very muscular or those who have very little muscle may not get an accurate BMI by using their height and weight alone. Muscle weighs more than fat, so a muscular person may appear to have a higher BMI, or a frail, inactive person may have more body fat than is healthy.
For adults 20 years and older:
According to federal guidelines, a clinical diagnosis of obesity also includes a determination of your waist circumference and risk factors.
1Razak F, et al. (2007). Defining obesity cut points in a multiethnic population. Circulation, 115(16): 2111–2118.
2Purnell JQ (2005). Obesity. In DC Dale, DD Federman, eds., ACP Medicine, section 3, chap. 10. New York: WebMD.
Last Revised: June 29, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Jennifer Hone, MD - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
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