Healthy vs Unhealthy Weight



Weight that puts you at risk of developing different diseases can be considered as unhealthy weight. On the other hand, weight that’s not associated with numerous obesity related diseases can be considered as healthy weight. It’s possible to evaluate both weight and weight related health risks. Assessing weight in relation to health risk involves use of three key measures. One is body mass index (BMI). The other two are waist circumference and risk factors for diseases and conditions linked with obesity.


Body Mass Index (BMI)


Overweight or obesity can be measured by BMI. BMI gets calculated using your height and weight. BMI estimates body fat and is a measure of your risk for diseases that can be caused by excessive body fat. Your risks for certain diseases increases when your BMI gets higher. The diseases include certain cancers, breathing problem, gallstones, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc. BMI can be measured for both men and women. However, it has some limitations. In cases of athletes or those who have a muscular build, BMI may overestimate body fat. In cases of older people and those who’ve lost muscle, BMI may underestimate body fat.


BMI calculator or BMI Tables can help estimate your body fat. Different BMI scores have different meanings with regard to your weight. BMI score that’s below 18.5 means underweight. BMI score of 18.5-24.9 means normal weight. BMI score of 25.0-29.9 means overweight. BMI score of 30.0 or above means obesity.


Waist Circumference


Waist circumference can be measured to see if you’re overweight or obese with possible health risks. Your risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes is higher if most of your fat is accumulated around your waist rather than hips. The risk can get higher when waist size is greater than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women. In order to measure your waist correctly, you can stand and place a tape around your middle, the area that’s just above your hipbones. You need to measure your waist right after you breathe out.

BMI score in combination with measurement of waist circumference can provide you a better idea about whether or not your weight puts you at high risk for developing obesity-related diseases.


Risk Factors for Obesity Associated Health Issues


Your being overweight in combination with any or some of the following risk factors can put you at higher risk of heart disease and other conditions.


Risk Factors


  • Low HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol
  • High HDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High triglycerides
  • High blood glucose
  • Physical inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Family history of premature heart disease


People who’re considered overweight with BMI score of 25 to 29.9 or obese with BMI score greater than or equal to 30 and have two or more of the above mentioned risk factors, need to lose weight. In such cases, losing even a small amount of weight or 5 to 10% of current weight can help reduce your risk of developing diseases linked with obesity.

People who don’t have a high waist measurement but are overweight, and have fewer than two of the above mentioned risk factors may not need to lose weight. But they need to prevent further weight gain.

Your doctor can help assess your BMI, waist circumference and other risk factors to determine how healthy or unhealthy your weight is alongside how much risk you’re risk you’re at. The good thing is that risk can be minimized by losing even small amount of weight.