ZocdocAnswersHow do doctors determine normal weight?

Question

How do doctors determine normal weight?

Who determines what is a normal weight. Is it bad for my health if I'm not considered to be normal weight. I am a 31 year old male and I'm a bit heavy.

Answer

Weight is a very sensitive subject in our country, which is unfortunate given that obesity and being overweight is such a concern. In fact, the rate of obesity and being over weight has sky rocketed in the last few decades, which is leading to numerous health problems. The personal side of this weight, however, makes it difficult for some people to discuss. To calculate the ideal weight, doctors will use something called a Body Mass Index (BMI). While the tool is somewhat of a blunt instrument, it is helpful to determine where a person stands with regards to healthy weight. If you weight more or less than the correct range (with the top value before one becomes overweight being defined as 25), it is important to speak with your doctor about what can be done. The long term effects of being overweight will vary from person to person and depend on your weight, but in general, they can include diabetes, heart problems, bone problems, and even cancer. For that reason, please speak with your doctor soon to make a plan for losing weight, and then keeping it off. Your quality of life will be much better in the long run.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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