Combined with your BMI, the following risk factors help inform you about your risk for developing obesity-associated diseases.
Determine your waist circumference by placing a measuring tape snugly around your waist. It is a good indicator of your abdominal fat which is another predictor of your risk for developing risk factors for heart disease and other diseases. This risk increases with a waist measurement of over 40 inches in men and over 35 inches in women
The table, Risks of Obesity-Associated Diseases by BMI and Waist Circumference, provides you with an idea of whether your BMI combined with your waist circumference increases your risk for developing obesity associated diseases or conditions.
Other Risk Factors
Besides being overweight or obese, there are additional risk factors to consider.
- 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
For people who are considered obese (BMI greater than or equal to 30) or those who are overweight (BMI of 25 to 29.9) and have two or more risk factors, the guidelines recommend weight loss. Even a small weight loss (just 10 percent of your current weight) will help to lower your risk of developing diseases associated with obesity. Patients who are overweight, do not have a high waist measurement, and have less than 2 risk factors may need to prevent further weight gain rather than lose weight.
Talk to your doctor to see if you are at an increased risk and if you should lose weight. Your doctor will evaluate your BMI, waist measurement, and others risk factors for heart disease. People who are overweight or obese have a greater chance of developing high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol or other lipid disorders, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers, and even a small weight loss (just 10 percent of your current weight) will help to lower your risk of developing those diseases.
*Information on BMI and obesity risk factors provided by http://www.nih.gov/