Weight Measures: BMI and Waist Circumference


How can you tell if your weight could increase your chances of developing health problems? Dr. Rodgers explains.

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How can you tell if your weight could increase your chances of developing health problems? Knowing two numbers may help you understand your risk.

Hi, I’m Dr. Griffin Rodgers, one of the directors at the NIH.

The first number is your body mass index, or BMI. BMI estimates body fat based on height and weight. The higher your BMI, the higher your risk for weight-related health problems such as diabetes or heart disease.

The second number is your waist size, measured in inches. Too much fat around your waist may increase health risks even more than having fat in other parts of your body.

If you’re overweight, losing as little as five percent of your body weight may lower your risk for health problems—just 10 pounds for an adult weighing 200. Ask your doctor about your BMI and waist size and if you should lose weight.

To learn more, follow us on Twitter @NIDDKgov. I'm Dr. Griffin Rodgers with the NIH.

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