United States Department of Veterans Affairs



What Is Overweight/Obesity?

Whis Is Overweight/Obesity


Overweight refers to increased body weight in relation to height, when compared to some standard of acceptable or desirable weight.

NOTE: Overweight may or may not be due to increases in body fat. It may also be due to an increase in lean muscle. For example, professional athletes or military personnel may be very lean and muscular, with very little body fat, yet they may weigh more than others of the same height. While they may qualify as "overweight" due to their large muscle mass, they are not necessarily fat.


Obesity is defined as an excessively high amount of body fat or adipose tissue in relation to lean body mass.

BMI stands for Body Mass Index. It is a number that shows body weight adjusted for height. BMI can be calculated with simple math using inches and pounds, or meters and kilograms.

Individuals with a BMI
(Body Mass Index) of 25 to 29.9 are considered overweight*, while individuals with a BMI of 30 or more are considered obese*.

Image of a scale Image of a Healthcare Provider
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 - 24.9 Normal
25.0 - 29.9 Overweight
30.0 and Above Obese

BMI Formula*
BMI Chart
Calculate my BMI* Image of a calculator
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