Your doctor may diagnose overweight and obesity based on your medical history, physical exams that confirm you have a high body mass index (BMI) and possibly a high waist circumference, and tests to rule out other medical conditions.
Confirming a high body mass index (BMI)
To diagnose overweight and obesity, doctors measure BMI using calculations that depend on whether you are a child or an adult.
Children: A healthy weight is usually when your child’s BMI is at the 5th percentile up to less than the 85th percentile based on growth charts for children who are the same age and sex. To figure out your child’s BMI, use the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) BMI Percentile Calculator for Child and Teen and compare the BMI with the table below.
Adults: A healthy weight for adults is usually when your BMI is 18.5 to less than 25. To figure out your BMI, use the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s online BMI calculator and compare it with the table below. You can also download the BMI calculator app for iPhone (link is external) and Android (link is external). Even if your BMI is in the healthy range, it is possible to be diagnosed as obese if you have a large waist circumference that suggests increased amounts of fat in your abdomen that can lead to complications.
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Shared from: nhlbi.nih.gov