Am I Overweight or Obese?
Doctors usually define "overweight" as a condition in which a person's
weight is 10%-20% higher than "normal," as defined by a
standard height/weight chart.
Obesity is usually defined as a condition in which a
person's weight is 20% or more above normal weight.
"Morbid obesity" means a person is either 50%-100% over
normal weight, more than 100 pounds over normal weight,
or sufficiently overweight to severely interfere with
health or normal functioning.
Nearly 40 million Americans, more than one-quarter of
all adults and about one in five children, are obese .
Each year, obesity causes at least 300,000 excess deaths
in the U.S. and costs the country more than $100
There are several tests that can be performed to
determine if you are overweight or obese. But, measuring
the exact amount of a person's body fat is not an easy
task. Some tests are more accurate than others.
What Tests Are Available for Diagnosing Obesity?
- Hydrostatic body fat test. This is the
most accurate test given to assess body fat. During
the test, you are submerged in water while your
underwater weight is recorded.
- Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA).
This is another very accurate way to assess body
fat. During this test, the patient must lay supine
for approximately 20-30 minutes while every section
of their body is systematically X-rayed.