Medical Definition of Overweight

Overweight: The term "overweight" is used in two different ways. In one sense it is a way of saying imprecisely that someone is heavy. The other sense of "overweight" is more precise and designates a state between normal weight and obesity.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) now defines overweight in terms of the BMI (the body mass index) which is a person's weight in kilograms (kg) divided by their height in meters (m)squared. Since the BMI describes the body weight relative to height, it correlates strongly (in adults) with the total body fat content.

Overweight is a BMI of 27.3 % or more for women and 27.8 % or more for men, according to the NIH.

Obesity is a BMI of 30 and above, according to the NIH.

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Last Editorial Review: 5/13/2016

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