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Am I overweight?

Woman weighing herselfTwo key measures are used to determine if someone is overweight. These are the body mass index, or BMI, and waist circumference.

BMI relates weight to height. It gives an approximation of total body fat — and that's what increases the risk of obesity-related diseases. Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25 to 29.9; obesity is defined as a BMI equal to or more than 30.

 Calculate your body mass index (BMI)

But BMI may overestimate body fat or inaccurately estimate total body fat in muscular persons or those losing muscle. For example, older persons often have lost muscle mass and, so, have more fat for a given BMI than younger persons do. That's why waist measurement is often checked as well. Another reason is that too much body fat in the stomach area also increases disease risk. A waist measurement of more than 35 inches in women and more than 40 inches in men is considered high.

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