Center for Obesity and Metabolic Surgery

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What is Obesity?

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Obesity is generally defined as being 20 percent or more over ideal body weight. Over time, there have been a number of systems used to measure obesity. For example, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company created tables (see below) years ago to help predict ideal body weight and provide an estimate of body fat composition. While useful, these tables do have limitations.

Currently, the body mass index (or BMI) is considered the best available indicator of excess body weight. BMI is calculated by dividing an individual’s weight in kilograms by the square of the height in meters. Your weight in pounds can be converted to kilograms by dividing it by 2.2; your height in inches can be converted to meters by multiplying it by 0.0254. (Use our BMI calculator)

Someone who is 20 percent or more over their ideal body weight typically has a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or higher. Clinically severe (or morbid) obesity is considered to be 100 pounds or more over ideal body weight, corresponding to a BMI of 40 kg/m2. People with a BMI greater than 35 kg/m2 and serious health problems related to obesity are also categorized as having clinically severe obesity.

 

Height & Weight Table for Women

Height
Feet Inches
Small
Frame
Medium
Frame
Large
Frame
4' 10"
102-111
109-121
118-131
4' 11"
103-113
111-123
120-134
5' 0"
104-115
113-126
122-137
5' 1"
106-118
115-129
125-140
5' 2"
108-121
118-132
128-143
5' 3"
111-124
121-135
131-147
5' 4"
114-127
124-138
134-151
5' 5"
117-130
127-141
137-155
5' 6"
120-133
130-144
140-159
5' 7"
123-136
133-147
143-163
5' 8"
126-139
136-150
146-167
5' 9"
129-142
139-153
149-170
5' 10"
132-145
142-156
152-173
5' 11"
135-148
145-159
155-176
6' 0"
138-151
148-162
158-179
Weight at ages 25-29 based on lowest mortality. Weight in pounds according to frame (in indoor clothing weighing 3 pounds; shoes with 1" heels).

 

Height & Weight Table for Men

Height
Feet Inches
Small
Frame
Medium
Frame
Large
Frame
5' 2"
128-134
131-141
138-150
5' 3"
130-136
133-143
140-153
5' 4"
132-138
135-145
142-156
5' 5"
134-140
137-148
144-160
5' 6"
136-142
139-151
146-164
5' 7"
138-145
142-154
149-168
5' 8"
140-148
145-157
152-172
5' 9"
142-151
148-160
155-176
5' 10"
144-154
151-163
158-180
5' 11"
146-157
154-166
161-184
6' 0"
149-160
157-170
164-188
6' 1"
152-164
160-174
168-192
6' 2"
155-168
164-178
172-197
6' 3"
158-172
167-182
176-202
6' 4"
162-176
171-187
181-207
Weight at ages 25-29 based on lowest mortality. Weight in pounds according to frame (in indoor clothing weighing 5 pounds; shoes with 1" heels).

Data courtesy of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

Currently, the body mass index (or BMI) is considered the best available indicator of excess body weight. BMI is calculated by dividing an individual’s weight in kilograms by the square of the height in meters. Your weight in pounds can be converted to kilograms by dividing it by 2.2; your height in inches can be converted to meters by multiplying it by 0.0254.

Someone who is 20 percent or more over their ideal body weight typically has a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or higher. Clinically severe (or morbid) obesity is considered to be 100 pounds or more over ideal body weight, corresponding to a BMI of 40 kg/m2. People with a BMI greater than 35 kg/m2 and serious health problems related to obesity are also categorized as having clinically severe obesity.


What is the significance of the BMI?

BMI is used to predict which patients are at the highest risk for weight-related medical problems and identify which patients would benefit most from procedures designed to help them lose weight.

People with clinically severe obesity are at a much greater risk of serious health problems and death than those of the same age at ideal body weight. Some examples of the medical problems that occur more frequently in people with BMIs over 35-40 kg/m2 are:

Other problems related to obesity can include depression, low self-esteem, physical disability, social discrimination and unemployment—to name only a few.

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Test your knowledge; click below to take our Obesity Quiz

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UTMB Obesity Quiz


What is the significance of the BMI?

BMI is used to predict which patients are at the highest risk for weight-related medical problems and identifies which patients would benefit most from procedures designed to help them lose weight. People with clinically severe obesity are at a much greater risk of serious health problems and death than those of the same age at ideal body weight. Read more below...

 
 

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