Healthy weight management: Part 1

Learn how the Body Mass Index (BMI) chart is a good way to start figuring out your healthy weight range.

Are you concerned about your current weight? Perhaps your clothes are getting a little tighter or you’ve been having symptoms such as being over-tired, breathlessness, increased sweating, snoring, joint pain and/or the ability to participant in your favorite activities.

If you think you may be overweight, you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than one-third (36 percent) of U.S. adults have obesity and the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRSS) report indicates that over 30 percent of Michigan adults are considered obese.  

Being overweight or obese can increase your chances of developing certain health conditions, including:

  • Heart disease, stroke and high pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer
  • High cholesterol
  • Liver and gall bladder disease
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Arthritis 

Adult Body Mass Index (BMI) is a tool that can be used to determine if your weight is at a healthy level. Calculating your BMI will help determine if your range of weight is considered underweight, normal, overweight or obese.  

It’s important to note that BMI may not be a good measurement tool for some, including athletes and people over 60. Athletes tend to have a higher BMI because of increased musculature. BMI may be too restrictive and not the best guideline for people over 60 because it doesn’t account for waist girth or age.  

If you think you may be overweight or obese, Michigan State University Extension recommends that you consult your healthcare provider so that your risk factors (age, activity level, health, body mass index and family history of weight-related health problems) can be assessed and confirmed before you begin the process of losing weight through diet and exercise.

MSU Extension offers many programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and empowers people to take control of their personal health. Contact your local MSU Extension office for more information.

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