Overweight and Obesity Chart

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The chart below, created by the NHLBI, provides a guideline for assessing the level of overweight and obesity by using two common calculations: Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist Circumference. BMI uses a calculation using your weight and height to determine where you fall in the BMI categories - Underweight, normal, overweight, obese or extremely obese.

Classification of Overweight and Obesity by BMI, Waist Circumference, and Associated Disease Risks

Disease Risk* Relative to Normal Weight and Waist Circumference Disease Risk* Relative to Normal Weight and Waist Circumference
BMI
(kg/m2)
Obesity
Class
Men 102 cm (40 in) or less
Women 88 cm (35 in) or less
Men > 102 cm (40 in)
Women > 88 cm (35 in)
Underweight < 18.5 - -
Normal 18.5-24.9 - -
Overweight 25.0-29.9 Increased High
Obesity 30.0-34.9

I

High Very High
35.0-39.9

II

Very High Very High
Extreme Obesity 40.0 +

III

Extremely High Extremely High

* Disease risk for type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and CVD.

+ Increased waist circumference also can be a marker for increased risk, even in persons of normal weight.

Your BMI and Waist Circumference

BMI is one of the simplest, most commons ways to assess overweight and obesity in the general population, but it doesn't tell the whole story. The formula for calculating your BMI doesn't factor many things that can affect your BMI such as how much muscle you have, your gender, how your body fat is distributed and your frame size.

All of these factors can skew the numbers, sometimes showing overweight or obesity when it isn't the case. Still, it's the best tool we have for the time being and can be useful when you take into account each individual's situation. Your waist measurement is also an important factor in our risk for things like diabetes and heart disease.  As the chart shows, the higher your waist measurement, the more at risk you are.

Calculate Your BMI

This calculator uses the standard formula (Weight (lb) / [Height (in)]2 x 703) to calculate your BMI. Give it a try!

Measure Your Waistline

The chart above also includes waist circumference, which is another important way to assess health. If you're a man with a waistline of greater than 40 inches or a woman with a waistline of greater than 35 inches, you're at a higher risk for things like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

To measure your waist size (circumference), take off any loose clothing and mark the smallest area between the bottom of the ribs and the top of the hip bones. Wrap the tape measure around your waist, keeping the tape snug and parallel to the floor. Relax, exhale, and take the measurement. You can also compare your waist-to-hip ratio to get an idea of your health.

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Article Sources
  • NIH. (n.d.). Losing Weight, Body Mass Index. In National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.