Among Americans age 20 and older, 145 million are overweight or obese (BMI of 25.0 kg/m2 and higher). That’s 76.9 million men and 68.1 million women. This is of great concern especially since obesity is now recognized as a major, independent risk factor for heart disease. If you have too much fat — especially if a lot of it is at your waist — you're at higher risk for such health problems as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes.
If you're overweight or obese, you can reduce your risk for heart disease by successfully losing weight and keeping it off. When coming up with a fitness and nutrition plan to lose weight, it’s crucial to understand your recommended calorie intake. And then the amount of food calories you’re consuming verses the energy calories you’re burning off with different levels of physical activity. It’s a matter of balancing healthy eating (caloric energy) with the (molecular) energy that leaves your body through a healthy level of exercise.
What is BMI?
Body mass index assesses your body weight relative to height. It's a useful, indirect measure of body composition because it correlates highly with body fat in most people. To calculate your exact BMI value, multiply your weight in pounds by 703, divide by your height in inches, then divide again by your height in inches.