A healthy weight has been clearly defined by the medical, insurance and research industry. A healthy weight is one that falls within the “normal” weight range based on your Basal Metabolic Index (BMI). Click here to calculate your BMI .
• Underweight = <18.5
• Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
• Overweight = 25-29.9
• Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater
32.7% of Americans adults are overweight, 34% are obese and 6% are extremely obese. 32% of American children are overweight, 16% are obese and 11% are extremely obese. Looking at these statistics, it is easy to believe that a child has a 65-75% chance of following in their overweight parent’s footsteps.
You can do the math, but its safe to assume that very few people are in the normal weight range. Why should you care about being in the norm? According to the Center for Disease Control, as weight increases to the overweight and obesity range, the risks for the following conditions are elevated:
• Coronary heart disease
• Type 2 diabetes
• Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
• Hypertension (high blood pressure)
• Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
• Liver and Gallbladder disease
• Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
• Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
• Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)
Yet achieving a healthy weight is not just about reaching a set number of pounds that categorizes you as normal. It includes a collection of positive lifestyle behaviors that include a healthy diet, regular physical activity, adequate rest, not smoking, alcohol in moderation and effective ways of coping with everyday stress. Follow my favorites (yellow stars) on Twitter www.twitter.com/e2dietitian for 52 weeks of health tips that can help your family move their BMI score towards normal in 2010! If you or a family member would benefit from individual healthy lifestyle coaching, source a Registered Dietitian in your state by going to http://www.eatright.org.