Spotlight on Health
Healthy Weight and Body Mass Index (BMI)
Why is a healthy weight important?
Your weight is an important part of your health status. If you are above your recommended
weight range, you may be at increased risk for chronic illnesses like diabetes,
heart disease, stroke and some cancers. However, if you are within your recommended
weight range, you may limit your health risks (and health costs) and reduce your
risk of getting seasonal illnesses like colds and flu, among other benefits. Studies
supported by the CDC and USDA show that obesity accounts for 42 percent of health
care costs for individuals and increases overall health care costs by 9.1 percent
(estimated $147 billion in 2008).
How can I find out my healthy weight?
Talking to your doctor is the best way to determine what your healthy weight is.
There are also tools that help you assess your healthy weight range. The Body Mass Index (BMI) takes a simple measurement of your height and weight.
The BMI groups weights in to four categories:
- Underweight (less than 18.5).
- Normal weight (18.5-24.9).
- Overweight (25-34.9) and.
- Obese (35 and above).
Not all bodies are the same. Figuring out your BMI is the first step to discovering
your health and weight needs. Talk to your doctor about your BMI and how it relates
to your overall health.
Find out my BMI now!
What can I do today?
There are a few simple things you can do to help you get to or stay at your healthy
- Be physically active most days of the week. Go to
HMSA365 to learn about discounts on health and wellness programs and services
- Eat nutritious foods and healthy portions. Visit the
Mayo Clinic to learn more about portion sizes. Talk to your doctor about a nutrition
plan that’s right for you.
What about my children? How do I know if they are at a healthy weight?
Healthy weight for children is different than for adults, but the effect on their
health is just as important. While they are still growing, their height and weight
can change each month, and so can their BMI. The best way to measure weight status
during childhood is to look at their BMI
percentile, or talk to your children’s doctor about how they compare to
other children the same gender and age. To help ensure good health and proper growth,