Are You Overweight Or Obese?

A close-up of a woman weighing herself What is the difference between overweight and being obese? Are you a little over your healthy weight or are fast-approaching obesity?

Doctors usually define “overweight” as a condition in which a person’s weight is 10%-20% higher than “normal,” as defined by a standard height/weight chart, or as a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 30.

Obesity is usually defined as a condition in which a person’s weight is 20% or more above normal weight or as a BMI of 30 or more. “Morbid obesity” means a person is either 50%-100% over normal weight, more than 100 pounds over normal weight, or sufficiently overweight to severely interfere with health or normal functioning.

Approximately 60 million Americans, nearly one-third of all adults and about one in five children, are obese. In 2008, only one state — Colorado — had an obesity rate less than 20%.