Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Chicana and Chicano StudiesLatino Health Issues

What is Obesity?


According to the WebMD, obesity is having so much body fat that your health is in danger. The American Obesity Association explains that obesity is a chronic disease that affects over 60 million Americans and counting. Also, another 67 million Americans are considered overweight. The distinction between obese and overweight is drawn from what is known as the Body Mass Index (BMI).

Body Mass Index is a calculation used to determine whether a person is overweight. The calculation is simple. A person's BMI is their bodyweight in kilograms (kg) divided by their height-squared in meters (m). A person is overweight if the resulting number is between 25 and 29.9. A person is obese if their BMI is 30 or more.

Use this BMI calculator provided by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute to find out your BMI.

Obesity is a serious public health concern. Every year, obesity causes at least 300,000 excess deaths in the U.S., and healthcare costs of American adults with obesity amount to approximately $100 billion. While this number is strikingly high, the National Institutes of Health spend less that 1% of its budget on obesity research.

overweight = BMI 25-29.9; obese= BMI >30

Accessibility | Privacy | ASU Disclaimer This site was created by Dan Abrams in fulfillment of requirements for the course CSS 335: Latino Health Issues taught by Dr. Szkupinski Quiroga at Arizona State University, Spring 2007.