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body mass index (BMI) and waist size affect your risk
type 2 diabetes,
high blood pressure,
high cholesterol, and
coronary artery disease. The following table shows the
Men: less than 40 in. (102 cm)
Women: less than 35 in. (88 cm)
Men: 40 in. (102 cm) or
Women: 35 in. (88 cm) or more
For Asian people, each risk category may include lower BMIs
than those listed in the table.
A BMI under 18.5 is considered
unhealthy. There is risk that you are not getting sufficient nutrition
(malnutrition). Complications of malnutrition include anemia, nutrient
deficiency, heart irregularities, loss of menstrual periods in women
(amenorrhea), cavities, and osteoporosis.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National
Institutes of Health (2000). The Practical Guide: Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults (NIH Publication No. 00-4084). Available online:
May 25, 2011
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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