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Obesity - Exams and Tests

Along with a regular medical checkup, you may have some tests to check on your health.

Your doctor may want to do blood tests to check for type 2 diabetes, thyroid or liver problems, and high cholesterol or high triglyceride levels.

Your doctor will check your blood pressure, ask about any medicines you are taking, and discuss your medical history and your family's medical history. He or she will ask how active you are, whether you drink alcohol (and how much), your history of weight gain, and how often you have tried to lose weight.

Knowing your waist size camera.gif along with your body mass index (BMI) can help your doctor check your risk for type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease (CAD).

Tests are available to estimate your body fat percentage (to find out about how much of your weight is fat). This is different from your BMI. With some of these tests, you may also learn your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Knowing your BMR can help your doctor or registered dietitian plan how many calories you need each day.

Early detection

Doctors use BMI to help screen for unhealthy weight. 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.2

Use the Interactive Tool: Is Your BMI Increasing Your Health Risks? to find your BMI.

If you're concerned about your child's weight

If you have concerns that your child is overweight or at risk of becoming so, ask your doctor to review your child's growth charts and medical history with you. If your child's BMI and growth pattern suggest a weight problem, your doctor will give your child an exam to look for problems that can cause weight gain. He or she may ask questions about eating and exercise habits. Regular checkups will also be important over time.

Use the Interactive Tool: What Is Your Child's BMI? to find out the BMI of your child age 2 or older.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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