Am I overweight?

Being overweight is a very common health problem that impacts quality of life. When you become significantly obese, you may start to experience an overall decline in health. The formal definition of "obesity" is expressed in terms of body mass index (BMI), which is a ratio of height to weight. Having a BMI of 25 - 30 puts you in the overweight category while having a BMI of greater than 30 makes you obese (significantly overweight). With an increased degree of obesity, your quality of life and lifespan decreases.

What does your BMI mean?

It is important to remember that your BMI does not reflect your body fat. The total BMI includes the weight of fat and muscles. For example, some well-trained athletes have a high BMI due to increased muscularity rather than body fatness. If you have a high BMI, you may need assessments such as skinfold thickness measurements, family history, physical activity and diet assessments to determine if you require a weight loss program.

Why is weight loss important?

Weight reduction can help prevent the development of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Obesity can also cause gestational diabetes and preeclampsia in pregnant women. Additionally, babies of obese pregnant women are at risk for complications such as neural tube defects, early birth and stillbirth. Undertaking regular diet and exercise regimens can help you to lose excess pounds that are causing obesity. You can supplement this with behavioral therapy and medications to aid in weight loss.

At Staten Island University Hospital, we offer a medical weight loss program to help you take control of your lifestyle. Through regular exercise, a healthy diet and lifestyle changes, you can keep your weight within a normal range.