How do you decide if someone is obese?

Using Body Mass Index. The most common way to determine if a person is overweight or obese is to calculate body mass index (BMI). BMI is an estimate of body fat based on comparing a person's weight to his or her height.
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What defines someone as obese?

Obesity has been more precisely defined by the National Institutes of Health (the NIH) as a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 and above. (A BMI of 30 is about 30 pounds overweight.) The BMI, a key index for relating body weight to height, is a person's weight in kilograms (kg) divided by their height in meters (m) squared.
  • What is the difference between being overweight and being obese?

    The difference between obesity and being overweight comes down to Body Mass Index (BMI). A BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. Overweight is defined by a BMI of 25-29.9. BMI is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat.
  • What is the weight to be considered obese?

    Adult Body Mass Index (BMI)
    HeightWeight RangeConsidered
    5' 9"124 lbs or lessUnderweight
    125 lbs to 168 lbsHealthy weight
    169 lbs to 202 lbsOverweight
    203 lbs or moreObese
  • What is the meaning of overweight?

    When people talk about being overweight or obese, they mean that someone has more body fat than is healthy. Everyone has some body fat, but excess fat can affect someone's health and ability to walk, run, and get around, as well as how the person looks and his or her self-esteem.

Updated: 2nd October 2019

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