MORE THAN ONE-THIRD OF AMERICAN ADULTS ARE OBESE
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 78.6 million American Adults are obese. That’s more than a third of our adult population! The good news is that we have the power to reduce that number. Together.
Calculate your body mass index (BMI) so that you have a better idea of your level of risk for weight-related diseases and complications. Knowing your BMI, you and your doctor can make a plan for how you can stay healthy for years to come.
WHAT IS BMI ANYWAY?
First things first: you need to know that body mass index, or BMI, is not a term intended to scare you. Quite simply, your BMI is a number based on your height and weight. It’s a fairly accurate indicator that lets you know if your total body fat is at a healthy level.
Since excess body fat is so closely tied to health risks and problems that can be reduced or prevented, your BMI is a pretty important number. It’s not a diagnostic tool, but your BMI gives you and your doctor a good idea of your level of weight related health risks. Knowing this number and keeping it at or within the “normal” range can help you keep your weight under control, reduce your risks and stay healthy for years to come.
CALCULATING BMI: A FORMULA FOR SUCCESS
Talk to your physician or a member of your healthcare team about your number or, if you know your height and weight, then calculating your BMI only takes some simple math. Weigh in, measure up and use this simple formula:
- Multiply your weight in pounds by 703
- Divide that answer by your height in inches
- Divide that answer by your height in inches again
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Again, your BMI is not an exact indicator of your health, and it doesn’t diagnose weight-related diseases. But it’s pretty accurate, and it gives you an idea of where you stand with your weight. Compare your BMI to this chart:
18.5 or lower
18.5 - 24.9
25.0 - 29.9
30.0 or above
OBESITY HAS CONSEQUENCES
Our bodies are not meant to carry more than a normal amount of weight and body fat. If you maintain a healthy weight, you can reduce your risk of weight-related can reduce your risk of weight-related diseases and health conditions, such as:
- Diabetes (Type 2)
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Abnormal Cholesterol Levels
- Gallbladder Disease
- Sleep Apnea
- Some Cancers
TRIM DOWN YOUR RISKS
Maintaining a healthy weight isn’t a diet. It’s a lifestyle. There are simple things you can do each and every day to keep your weight at a healthy level and reduce your risk of weight-related diseases and health problems. Here are some ideas to keep you moving in the right direction:
- Get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 5 times per week*
- Balance your calorie consumption with your physical activity
- Limit saturated fats to no more than 7% of your total calories
- Enjoy a low-cholesterol diet with lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Limit consumption of red meat and sugary foods and drinks
- Avoid tobacco smoke and limit alcohol consumption
- Set small and manageable goals for weight loss
- Keep a close eye on portion sizes
*Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, “Physical Activity Guidelines: Older
Adults,” November 2015, http://health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/older-adults.aspx.