(HealthDay News) -- More than 70 percent of Americans are overweight or obese, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.
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About 38 percent of those people are considered obese, the agency says.
Obesity raises a person's risk for health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and certain cancers.
Obesity is commonly measured by calculating body mass index (BMI), which factors a person's height and weight.
But BMI is not a perfect indicator, the agency notes. Athletes often have lots of muscle mass, which weighs more than fat and may skew a BMI reading.
Before prescribing medicine or recommending surgery, doctors probably will want their patients to demonstrate healthy lifestyles that include better nutrition and increased exercise, the FDA says.
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