What is the difference between being “overweight” and being “obese”?

The difference between being “overweight” and being “obese” is a matter of degree and can be determined by calculating the person’s BMI (body mass index).

The body mass index is a calculation used to estimate a person’s body fat based on their weight and height. It applies equally for both men and women. It is a common measurement used by clinicians and health experts to gauge a person’s risk for developing serious diseases such as stroke, heart disease and diabetes. A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered ‘normal’ weight; 25 to 29.9 is ‘overweight’; and 30 or more is ‘obese’. (Note: the BMI calculation is not generally accurate for individuals who have an exceptionally high muscle mass such as elite athletes and professional body builders.)

To determine your BMI, you can use the BMI calculator at www.LindoraOnline.com website under the Medical Q&A Tab.

You can manually calculate your BMI, by using this formula: multiply your weight in pounds by 703. Divide the answer by your height in inches. Then divide this result again by your height in inches. The final result is your BMI. This calculation applies to both men and women.

Example: A person who weighs 160 pounds and is 5’5” in height (65 inches) has a BMI of 26.6 and is considered ‘obese’.

The greater one’s weight, the greater the health risk. Compared to someone at a healthy weight, a person who is obese is at “high” to “very high” risk for coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea, infertility, gynecological problems, gallstones, osteoarthritis, as well as endometrial, breast, prostate and colon cancers. Obesity is also associated with an earlier death.