Assessing Weight and Disease Risk

photoWhen it comes to our weight, there are more things to consider than just how we look. There are a couple of measurements that can indicate if we are at an increased risk for certain diseases. These measurements never take the place of talking with your doctor, but it’s a good place to start the discussion with them.

So, the first measurement to consider is Body Mass Index (BMI). This measurement is basically, your weight in proportion to your height. You can visit this website to calculate your BMI:
BMI Calculator

Once we know our BMI, we can determine what the medical community defines as our weight status. After using a BMI calculator, use the chart below to determine your category. Being in the “Obese” category can put us at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea and some cancers to name a few.

BMI Weight Status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 – 24.9 Normal or Healthy Weight
25.0 – 29.9 Overweight
30.0 and Above Obese

Waist circumference is another measurement that can help us assess if we are at an increased risk for certain diseases. A man whose waist circumference is more than 40 inches and a non-pregnant woman whose waist circumference is more than 35 inches would be more at risk for developing obesity related conditions. This measurement can also assess if we have excess abdominal fat.

Knowing our BMI and waist circumference is a decent first step in determining if we should lose weight for health reasons verses our own personal goals. Remember, these 2 measurements are not diagnostic tools. Be sure to consult with your physician to determine your individual risks.