Weight & Measurement
Assessing Your Risk
According to the National Heart and Blood Institute (NHLBI) guidelines, assessment of overweight involves using two key measures:
Body Mass Index (BMI)
- body mass index (BMI)
- waist circumference
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person’s weight and height and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.
BMI can be calculated by multiplying weight (in pounds) by 705, then divide that number by height (in inches) twice.
Download BMI Chart
Assessing Your BMI
Recommended BMI 18.5–24.9
Not a risk factor for weight-related health problems
High BMI 25–29.9
Some increased risk for weight-related health problems
Very High BMI >30
Significant increased risk for weight-related health problems
- overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build.
- underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle mass.
Determine your waist circumference by placing a measuring tape snugly around your waist. The risk for heart disease increases with a waist measurement of over 40 inches in men and over 35 inches in women.
People who are overweight have a greater chance of developing high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol or other lipid disorders, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. Talk to your doctor to see if you are at an increased risk and if you should lose weight. Even a small weight loss (just 10 percent of your current weight) will help to lower your risk of developing those diseases.