Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of your health and wellness. Both “overweight” and “obesity” are labels for ranges of weight that are greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height. The terms also identify ranges of weight that have been shown to increase the likelihood of certain diseases and other health problems.
How do I know if I’m overweight or obese?
For adults, overweight and obesity ranges are determined by using weight and height to calculate a number called the “body mass index” (BMI). BMI is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat.
- An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight.
- An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.
How do I know if my child is overweight or obese?
For children, a child’s weight status is determined using Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Growth Charts with an age- and sex-specific percentile for BMI rather than the BMI categories used for adults because children’s body composition varies as they age and varies between boys and girls. For children and adolescents (aged 2—19 years):
- Overweight is defined as a BMI at or above the 85th percentile and lower than the 95th percentile for children of the same age and sex.
- Obesity is defined as a BMI at or above the 95th percentile for children of the same age and sex.
Talk with your child’s doctor about your child’s weight or view growth charts available from the CDC.
Why is achieving a healthy weight important?
Obesity rates are increasing for both adults and children. As obesity increases so does insulin resistance, higher cholesterol, triglycerides, type 2 diabetes and vascular complications.
How can I achieve a healthy weight?
Nutrition and activity are both important factors in weight loss. Talk with your doctor about your weight loss goals to determine a healthy way for you achieve your goal weight by modifying your diet and increasing your activity levels.
Are there resources available to help me achieve a healthy weight?
WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital has many resources available to help you achieve your weight loss goals.