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What is Obesity?

Obesity is a term used to describe excessive body weight that is considered unhealthy. People who are obese have a higher amount of body fat than lean muscle mass.

There are several classifications of obesity, which can be found by knowing your Body Mass Index or “BMI” number. The BMI factors in a person’s height and weight to provide an overall individualized assessment of weight. An adult with a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal. A person with a BMI of greater than 25 but less than 30 is considered overweight. A BMI of 30 to 34.9 indicates obesity. A person with a BMI of 35 to 39.9 or more is morbidly obese, or at greater risk of dying from carrying too much weight. With a BMI of 40 or more, a person is extremely obese.

Classification   BMI
Normal   18.5 – 24.9
Overweight   25.0 – 29.9
Obese   30.0 – 34.9
Morbidly Obese   35.0 – 39.9
Extremely Obese   40 or above


BMI Calculator

Height: feet
and inch(es)
Weight: pounds

Your BMI:

People who are obese are at higher risk for serious health conditions including:

About 60 million adults in the United States are obese. Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States today.

Obesity-Related Medical Conditions

For additional information on the health risks related to adult obesity, visit our Healthwise Knowledgebase.