Overweight And Obesity Guidelines

In June of 1998, the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) updated the guidelines for the definition and treatment of obesity.

The NIH guidelines no longer utilize the traditional height/weight charts for defining obesity that insurance companies have relied on for years. According to these new guidelines, assessment of overweight involves evaluation of three key measures-body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and a patient's risk factors for diseases and conditions associated with obesity.

Below are listed some of the new guidelines. These guidelines present a new approach to the assessment of overweight and obesity and establish principles of safe and effective weight loss.

The body mass index (BMI) equals a person's weight in kilograms (kg) divided by their height in meters (m) squared. Since BMI describes body weight relative to height, it is strongly correlated with total body fat content in adults.