• Definition

    Nearly two-thirds of the United States population is overweight. There are many ways to determine if a person is overweight, but experts believe that a person's body mass index (BMI) is the best way to assess an adult's weight in relation to their height.

    • A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal.
    • Adults with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 are considered overweight. There are exceptions. For example, an athlete may have a higher BMI but not be overweight.
    • Adults with a BMI greater than 30 are considered obese.
    • Adults with a BMI greater than or equal to 40 are considered extremely obese.
    • Anyone more than 100 pounds overweight is considered morbidly obese.

    A person with a high BMI may have a normal amount of body fat is they have a lot of muscles.

    For information on calculating your BMI, see: Body mass index

    Related topics:

    • Exercise and weight loss
    • Losing weight
    • Obesity
    • Unintentional weight gain
    • Weight management
    • Weight problems and children