Are You 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.
  • An adult with a BMI of 40 or higher is considered morbidly obese.

Other methods of estimating body fat and body fat distribution include measurements of skinfold thickness and waist circumference, calculation of waist-to-hip circumference ratios, and techniques such as ultrasound, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Morbid Obesity

Morbid obesity (a BMI of 40 or higher) greatly increases the chance of developing health conditions that can result in significant physical, mental and social disabilities. It can also cause death. Those with morbid obesity, as well as those with a BMI of 35 or higher with significant related health problems, may be considered candidates for bariatric surgery.

Last Update

May 18, 2010
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