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Obesity

“What it Means” & “What to Do !”

Obesity is having a body mass index (also called BMI) of 30 or above, and healthy weight is having a BMI of less than 25. The BMI compares a person’s width with his or her height.The incdence of obesity is much higher among African American and Hispanic women than among White women.In fact, nearly 50 percent, or one-half, of African American, Hispanic, and American Indian women are obese. In addition, more and more children and teenagers are getting overweight and obese, and it’s happening at younger ages.

The basic clue to preventing and controlloing overweight and obesity is:

Burn off as many calories (from physical activity) as you take in (eat)!

Obesity needs to be prevented and controlled because it is associated with a variety of serious and costly chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia (high blood cholesterol), stroke, arthritis, gallstones, and some cancers. For many obese persons, losing even 5 to 10 percent of their weight can delay or prevent some of these diseases.

Our Health Power Overweight and Obesity Section provides much more information on obesity. We also provide our Childhood Obesity Tip Sheet, Weight Control Tip Sheets, Healthy Eating Tip Sheets, Celebrity Recipes, Cultural Specialty Recipes, and Recipes by Type in our Food and Fitness Channel.

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