Maintaining a Healthy Weight
What are the health consequences of obesity and being overweight for adults?
Obese and overweight individuals are at increased risk for many diseases and health conditions, including the following:
- Dyslipidemia (for example, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
- Some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
Learn more about chronic diseases.
What is Overweight and Obesity
Overweight and obesity result from an energy imbalance. This involves eating too many calories and not getting enough physical activity.Overweight and obesity are both labels for ranges of weight that are greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height. The terms also identify ranges of weight that have been shown to increase the likelihood of certain diseases and other health problems.
Body Mass Index
The BMI ranges are based on the relationship between body weight and disease and death. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a height to weight ratio that is a way to tell if you are at a healthy body weight. While BMI is accurate for most people, it does not work for everyone. It is important to remember that:
- You could have a high BMI but be at a weight that is considered healthy if you are muscular or athletic.
- You could have a normal BMI and have poor nutrition.
- At the same BMI, women tend to have more body fat than men.
Use the Centers for Disease Control's BMI Calculator to find out what your BMI is.
Whether you want to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, it is important to understand the connection between the calories your body takes in (through the foods you eat and the beverages you drink) and the calories your body uses (through normal body functions, daily activities, and physical activity).
There is a right number of calories for you to eat each day. This number depends on your age, activity level, and whether you are trying to gain, maintain, or lose weight. You could use up the entire amount on a few high-calorie foods, but chances are, you wont get the full range of vitamins and nutrients your body needs to be healthy.
Learn how to eat healthy.
Finding a Balance
Becoming a healthier you is not just about eating, it is also about being active. The important thing to remember is that there must always be a balance. Calorie balance is like a scale. To remain in balance and maintain your body weight, the calories consumed (from foods) must be balanced by the calories used (in daily activities and functions).
Visit the fitness page to learn more about physical activity.