Obese vs. Overweight: 6 Ways To Tell The Difference

83773683To be obese is to be overweight, but to be overweight doesn’t necessarily make you obese. A bulky weight trainer, whose muscle mass may take up a high percentage of their weight, could have the same BMI as a dormant couch potato. Tricky right?

“What exactly is a BMI?” you may be asking. A BMI (body mass index) is a universal measurement that many health professionals use to compare body weight to height.

Obese vs. Overweight

“Obese is defined as a BMI of > 30,” says Dr. Robert L. Richard of FACS. “This is significant because at this BMI, the individual is at a higher risk of risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, as well as coronary artery disease. Being overweight is defined as a BMI of between 25 and 29. The risk is less with the lower BMI; however, some individual variations in fat distribution may alter this risk. Individuals with more weight around the waist for example are at higher risk. For men a waist size > 40 inches and >35 for women are associated with increase risk.”

Most people think this is enough to define themselves as overweight, obese or neither, but being considered fat is not as simple as a BMI number.