Weight and Health

Why weight successIf you weigh too much, you are not alone. According to recent surveys by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight and one third are obese. The consequences for the individuals — and our nation — are worrisome. The rising rates of obesity are fueling a diabetes epidemic that is expected to affect one in three American adults by 2050. Other health consequences are equally disturbing. Excess weight can contribute to early death and lead to multiple serious health conditions, including:

  • High blood pressure,  heart disease, stroke
  • Some forms of cancer (breast. colorectal, endometrial, and kidney)
  • Menstrual irregularities and pregnancy complications
  • Osteoarthritis of weight-bearing joints
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Type II Diabetes
  • Depression

Assessing Your Weight

When assessing you weight and health risk, a doctor will look at your body mass index (BMI), your waist circumference, and other obesity risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high tryglycerides, physical inactivity, smoking, and a family history of heart disease.

Your body mass index (BMI) is a height-weight ratio that provides a good estimate of your body fat. Your waist circumference offers additional insight. For example, your risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes is higher if most of your fat is around your waist rather than at your hips. Generally, you should be concerned if you waist size is greater than 35 inches for women or 40 inches for men.

General BMI Estimates:

  • BMI below 18.5: Underweight
  • BMI of 18.5-24.9: Normal
  • BMI of 25.0 –29.9: Overweight
  • BMI of 30.0 and above: Obese
  • BMI of 40 and above: Morbidly Obese

Treating Excess Weight

On a very basic level, you will maintain normal body weight when the calories you consume equal the calories you burn. Treatment for excess weight may include a combination of diet, behavior modification, and prescription medications. Sometimes these measures are insufficient, and bariatric surgery may be recommended for cases of extreme obesity. For patients considering bariatric surgery, Why Weight? can provide important support services and documentation to meet bariatric surgery pre-qualification requirements.

BMI Measurement Tool:   http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi