Obesity is a common problem in the United States and in recent years has grown to be a worldwide problem. Obesity is linked to a few factors:
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- High blood lipids, especially high triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol)
- High blood pressure
- Impaired glucose tolerance or type 2 diabetes (also called adult onset diabetes)
- Metabolic syndrome
So, how do you know if you are obese? Body mass index (BMI) is a mathematical formula that factors a person’s height and weight in determining obesity. It may be less accurate for athletes who have more muscle mass or older persons who have lost muscle mass.
Calculate and compare your BMI
Now, you can check out how your BMI stacks up against other people from around the world. The BBC has posted a BMI calculator that provides your BMI compared to the country you live in and the world. Visit the BBC to calculate your BMI.
Cleveland Clinic’s Katherine Patton, RD, Preventive Cardiology dietitian, says this about the body mass index tool, “It is interesting to analyze how your BMI ranks against fellow Americans compared to adults of the same gender and age range across the world—especially considering that the U.S. has the highest rate of obesity for developed nations.”
Understand what your BMI number means
You have calculated your BMI — but what does that number mean exactly? Use the points below to determine if your BMI is within a healthy or unhealthy range.
- Underweight BMI: Less than 18.5
- Ideal BMI: 18.5-25
- Overweight BMI: 25-30
- Obese BMI: 30-40
- Very Obese BMI: Greater than 40