New York Communicty Health
New York Community Health
How many people in the United States are overweight or obese?
Among U.S. women 20 years and older, over 64 million are overweight and over 34 million are obese.

How do I know if I'm overweight or obese?
Obesity is measured with a body mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat based on height and weight. Individuals with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 are considered overweight, while individuals with a BMI of 30 or more are considered obese.

What causes someone to become overweight or obese?
An unhealthy diet and physical inactivity are contributing factors to becoming overweight or obese. Overweight and obesity are problems that continue to get worse in the United States. Bigger portion sizes, little time to exercise or cook healthy meals, and relying on cars to get around are just a few reasons for this increase.

What are the health effects of being overweight or obese?
An unhealthy diet and physical inactivity can increase your chances of getting heart disease, cancer, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, breathing problems, arthritis, gallbladder disease, and osteoarthritis. But body weight isn't the only problem. The places where you store your body fat also affect your health. Women with a 'pear' shape tend to store fat in their hips and buttocks. Women with an 'apple' shape store fat around their waists. For most women, carrying extra weight around their waists (larger than 35 inches) raises health risks like heart disease, diabetes, or cancer more than carrying extra weight around the hips or thighs. Obesity can also affect medical care. Too much fat can obscure imaging tests, like X-rays, CT scans, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). For example, in an ultrasound, the beam may not be able get through layers of fat to get an image of a person's appendix, gallbladder, or kidneys. Too much body fat can make it harder for a doctor to make a medical diagnosis and treat a patient.

How do I find out what the best way is for me to lose weight?
Experts agree that the best way to lose weight is to follow a sensible eating plan and engage in regular physical activity. If you're interested in a weight-loss program, it should encourage healthy behaviors that help you lose weight that you can maintain over time. Before you start a weight-loss program, talk to your doctor.

Safe and effective weight-loss programs should include these components:

- Healthy eating plans that reduce calories but do not rule out specific foods or food groups
- Regular physical activity and/or exercise instruction
- Tips on healthy behavior changes that also consider your cultural needs
- Slow and steady weight loss of about 1 to 2 pounds per week and not more than 3 pounds per week (weight loss may be faster at the start of a program)
- Medical care if you are planning to lose weight by following a special formula diet, such as a very-low-calorie diet
- A plan to keep the weight off after you have lost it.

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