Overweight and Obesity Chart

Find Out If You're Overweight of Obese

Getty Images/Chris Bernard

The chart below, created by the NHLBI, provides a guideline for assessing the level of overweight and obesity by using two common calculations: Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist Circumference. BMI uses a calculation using your weight and height to determine where you fall in the BMI categories - Underweight, normal, overweight, obese or extremely obese.

Classification of Overweight and Obesity by BMI, Waist Circumference, and Associated Disease Risks


 Disease Risk* Relative to Normal Weight and Waist   Circumference

 Men 102 cm (40 in) or less
 Women 88 cm (35 in) or less
 Men > 102 cm (40 in)
 Women > 88 cm (35 in)
Underweight< 18.5 --
Normal18.5-24.9 --
Overweight25.0-29.9 IncreasedHigh


HighVery High


Very HighVery High
Extreme Obesity40.0 +


Extremely HighExtremely High

* Disease risk for type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and CVD.

+ Increased waist circumference also can be a marker for increased risk, even in persons of normal weight.


NIH. (n.d.). Losing Weight, Body Mass Index. In National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Retrieved July 9, 2013, from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/lose_wt/bmi_dis.htm.

Your BMI and Waist Circumference

BMI is one of the simplest, most commons ways to assess overweight and obesity in the general population, but it doesn't tell the whole story.

The formula for calculating your BMI doesn't factor many things that can affect your BMI such as how much muscle you have, your gender, how your body fat is distributed and your frame size. All of these factors can skew the numbers, sometimes showing overweight or obesity when it isn't the case. Still, it's the best tool we have for the time being and can be useful when you take into account each individual's situation.

Your waist measurement is also an important factor in our risk for things like diabetes and heart disease.  As the chart shows, the higher your waist measurement, the more at risk you are.

Calculate Your BMI

You can use an online BMR Calculator or use the formula below to calculate your BMI:

Formula: Weight (lb) / [Height (in)]2 x 703

Example: Weight = 160 lbs, Height = 5'5" (65")
Calculation: [160 / (65)2] x 703 = 26.62

From the chart above, we can see that 26.62 falls into the 'Overweight' category.

Measure Your Waistline

The chart above also includes waist circumference, which is another important way to assess health. If you're a man with a waistline of greater than 40 inches or a woman with a waistline of greater than 35 inches, you're at a higher risk for things like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

To measure your waist size (circumference), take off any loose clothing and mark the smallest area between the bottom of the ribs and the top of the hip bones. Wrap the tape measure around your waist, keeping the tape snug and parallel to the floor.

Relax, exhale, and take the measurement.

You can also compare your waist-to-hip ratio to get an idea of your health. Learn more about how to calculate your waist-to-hip ratio.

Weight Loss Resources

Continue Reading