About Obesity and Overweight

Weight that is higher than what is considered healthy, based on a person’s height, is called “overweight” or “obesity.”  A person with obesity has too much body fat. A person with overweight weighs too much, but the extra weight may come from muscle, bone, body water, and/or fat.1

Healthcare providers often use body mass index (BMI) to determine if a person has overweight or obesity. Adults who have a BMI between 25 and 29.9 are generally considered to have overweight. Adults who have a BMI of 30 or higher are considered to have obesity.2 A child’s weight status is determined using a special chart that takes into account the child’s age and sex.3 Learn more about BMI and other measurements of overweight and obesity.

Obesity is a chronic disease. Having obesity increases a person’s risk for health conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, bone and joint problems, and circulatory issues, to name a few.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gathers and reports statistics on obesity and overweight in adults and children at https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/index.html.


  1. National Library of Medicine. (2012). Obesity. Retrieved 2021, from MedlinePlus: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/obesity.html
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Overweight and obesity: Defining overweight and obesity. Retrieved 2021, from http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/adult/defining.html
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Overweight and obesity: Basics about childhood obesity. Retrieved August 8, 2012, from https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/defining.html
top of pageBACK TO TOP