Healthier lives through education in nutrition and preventive medicine Body Mass Index (BMI) is a way to define overweight and obesity. The index is a mathematical formula in which a person’s body weight in kilograms is divided by the square of his or her height in meters [kg/m2].
Exercise and Weight Loss
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Pennington Nutrition Series
Healthier lives through education in nutrition and preventive medicine
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a way to define overweight and obesity. The index is a mathematical formula in
which a person’s body weight in kilograms is divided by
the square of his or her height in meters [kg/m2]. The BMI
is more highly correlated with body fat than any other
mathematical ratio of height and weight; however, athletes
and individuals with a high percentage of muscle may
have a BMI in the overweight range because of the higher
density of muscle compared to fat.
A BMI of 18 to 25 is considered normal weight.
Individuals with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 are
considered overweight, and those with a BMI of
30 or more are considered obese.
Overweight is defined as increased weight in
relation to height.
Obesity is defined as an excessively high
amount of body fat or adipose tissue in
relation to lean body mass.
The distribution of body fat is important from a
chronic disease perspective. Those who have more
body fat in the abdominal area have an increased risk
for elevated triglycerides, high blood pressure and
glucose intolerance. Waist circumference correlates
well with chronic disease risk. A waist circumference
of 40 inches (102 cm) or more in men or a waist
circumference of 35 inches (88cm) or more in women
puts one at greater risk of insulin resistance and the
chronic diseases associated with it.
When someone is a few pounds overweight and
is motivated to lose weight, there are safe and effective methods to lose a few pounds and to maintain a
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