Many people have questions about the difference between being obese and overweight.
Not only are these titles a bit confusing, but they also have very different long-term health consequences.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
BMI is a measurement of body fat that is used to determine your risk for developing health problems as a result of your weight. This number is calculated using simple math:
- Your weight in kilograms
- Divided by your height in meters squared
Your BMI is important because your doctor will use it to determine whether you are underweight, normal, overweight, or obese. The general ranges are:
- Underweight = Below 18.5
- Normal = 18.5 to 24.9
- Overweight = 25.0 to 29.9
- Obese = 30.0 and Above
The higher your BMI is, the greater your chances are for developing weight-related health problems. Over time, these risks increase if you don’t lose weight. This is why it’s so important to know your BMI and to stay within the normal range.
BMI is not 100% accurate. Some of its limitations include falsely measuring too high for those with an athletic build, and falsely measuring too low for those with muscle mass loss (such as the elderly).
Obesity-Related Health Problems
A Body Mass Index above 30.0 is considered obese. Many of the patients we see are in this category and are also experiencing obesity-related health problems, or comorbidities.
Your doctor will probably also look at your waist circumference to help determine your risk for developing comorbidities. A waist measurement of 40+ for men or 35+ for women equates to a higher risk of developing a serious health problem in the future.
These comorbid conditions include:
- High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
- Heart & Cardiovascular Diseases
- High Cholesterol/Triglycerides
- Sleep Apnea (Interruption of Breathing While Asleep)
- Shortness of Breath with Exertion
- Heartburn (Acid Reflux Disease, or GERD)
- Degenerative Arthritis
- Stress Incontinence
- Increased Risk for Certain Cancers
- Early Death
Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for Me?
Only a bariatric surgeon can qualify you for surgery, but the general guidelines for include having a BMI over 40, being 100 or more pounds over your ideal body weight, or having a BMI of 35-39 with comorbid medical conditions.
Weight loss surgery can help you shed pounds and get your life back. Most patients choose a procedure that works well with their goal weight, medical concerns, and how quickly they want to lose weight. Weight loss surgery can literally save your life if you follow the exercise, dietary, and follow-up protocol we give you.