Being overweight or obese could increase your risk for many diseases and health conditions.
The more you weigh, the more likely you are to suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, and certain cancers.
On the contrary, a healthy weight has many benefits: It helps lower your risk for developing these problems, helps you to feel good about yourself, and gives you more energy to enjoy life.
How to know if your weight is healthy?
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Your BMI accurately estimates your total body fat. And, the amount of fat that you carry is a good indicator of your risk for a variety of diseases.
Although BMI can be used for most men and women, it does have some limitations:
It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build.
It may underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle.
Waist Circumference Measurement
Your waist circumference is also an important measurement to help you figure out your overall health risks.
If most of your fat is around your waist, then you are more at risk for heart disease and diabetes.
This risk increases with a waist measurement that is: Greater than 35 inches for women; greater than 40 inches for men.
Other Risk Factors for Heart Disease
If you have other risk factors for heart disease and are overweight or obese, then you will be at greater risk for health problems.
Your doctor will check your BMI, waist circumference, and other risk factors for heart disease:
If you are overweight (BMI 25–29.9), do not have a high waist circumference, and have less than two risk factors, then it’s important that you not gain any more weight.
If you are overweight (BMI 25–29.9) or have a high waist circumference and have two or more risk factors, then it is important for you to lose weight.
If you are obese (BMI ≥ 30), then it is important for you to lose weight.
Even a small weight loss (just 5–10 percent of your current weight) will help to lower your risk of developing weight-related diseases.