Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
A healthy weight is a major factor for a long, healthy life.
How can people use their BMI to evaluate their bodies?
When it comes to adults and children, different methods are used to find out if weight is about right for height.
Adults should learn their BMI (click here for calculations). Not all adults who have a BMI in the range labeled "healthy" are at their most healthy weight.
Some may have lots of fat and little muscle.
A BMI above the healthy range is less healthy for most people; but it may be fine if
someone has lots of muscle, a large body frame, and little fat.
The further one's BMI is above the healthy range, the higher one's weight-related risk. If
a person's BMI is above the healthy range, he or she may benefit from weight loss, especially if
there are other health risk factors.
BMIs slightly below the healthy range may still be healthy unless they result from illness.
There is no single perfect body size for children. However, many children in the United States are overweight. If
someone has concerns about his or her child's body size, talk with a health-care professional.
Keep track of one's weight and waist measurement, and take action if either of them increases. If
someone's BMI is greater than 25, at least try to avoid further weight gain. If middle-aged or elderly and
the waist measurement increases, one is probably gaining fat and losing muscle. If so, take steps to eat less and become more active.
Fad diets that ignore the principles of the Dietary Guidelines may result in short term weight loss, but may do so at the risk of your health. How you go about managing your weight has a lot to do with your long-term success. Unless your health is seriously at risk due to complications from being overweight or obese, gradual weight loss should be your rule -- and your goal.