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The USPSTF recommends using BMI to find out which adults are at risk from being overweight and obese.2

If you are age 20 or older, use the Interactive Tool: Is Your BMI Increasing Your Health Risks? to check your BMI when you know your height in feet and weight in pounds.

You can use BMI to decide whether your weight is dangerous to your health. If you have a BMI of 30 or higher, your extra weight-as well as unhealthy eating patterns and too little physical activity-may be putting your health in danger. If you are Asian, your health may be at risk with a BMI of 27.5 or higher.3

Where you carry your body fat may be as important as how many extra pounds you have. People who carry too much fat around the middle, rather than around the hips, are more likely to have health problems. In women, a waist sizecamera.gif of 35 in. (88 cm) or more raises the chance for disease. In men, a waist size of 40 in. (101 cm) or more raises the chance for disease.4 In Asian people, health problems are seen with a smaller waist size. In Asian women, a waist size of 32 in. (80 cm) or more raises the chance for disease. In Asian men, a waist size of 36 in. (90 cm) or more raises the chance for disease.3

For more information, see the topics Obesity, Weight Management, Healthy Eating, or Healthy Eating for Children.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

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