Weight, High BMI, and Related Health Conditions
If a person has a high BMI, does that mean he or she is overweight or obese? Furthermore, does that mean that he or she is at an increased risk for health problems? The answers to these questions depend on several different factors.
BMI is just one factor to consider when assessing a person's weight. To determine if excess weight is a health risk, a healthcare provider will perform further assessments. According to recent guidelines, assessment of weight involves using three key measures:
- Waist circumference
- Risk factors for diseases and conditions associated with obesity.
Keep in mind that BMI is a screening tool; it is not used to diagnose any medical conditions, but instead is used as one measure to assess a person's weight and his or her risk of developing certain medical conditions.
If someone is overweight or obese, he or she is at an increased risk for certain medical conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol or other lipid disorders
- Sleep apnea
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Certain cancers
- Gallbladder disease
- Fatty liver disease.
Even a small weight loss (just 5 to 10 percent of your current weight) will help to lower your risk of developing those diseases.
(Click BMI and Weight for more information on assessing your risk for obesity-related medical problems.)