Assess Your Weight and Health Risk

by SKHC Editor on July 23, 2010

To assess your weight and health risk three key measurements are taken into consideration: your body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and risk factors for diseases and conditions associated with obesity.  Calculate your BMI and see if you fall into a normal weight range.

BMI is calculated from your height and weight.  It’s an inexpensive method of measurement of body fat and a good risk for diseases that can occur with more body fat.  BMI may be used on most men and women however athletes and older persons may receive over- or underestimated results respectively.

Measuring your waist circumference helps screen for potential health risks that come with being overweight and obesity.  If you’re carrying fat around your waist, rather than say your hips, you’re at a higher risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Women should aim to keep their waists below 35 inches or less and men 40 inches or less.

If you’re overweight or obese the following factors put you at a greater risk for heart disease and other conditions:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol)
  • Low HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol)
  • High triglycerides
  • High blood glucose (sugar)
  • Family history of premature heart disease
  • Physical inactivity
  • Cigarette smoking

As always, best to talk with your doctor to see whether you are at an increased risk and whether or not losing some weight will help you lower your risk of developing life-hindering diseases and conditions.

Source: nhlbi.nih.gov

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