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Quality Health Care and You - Diabetes

Weight Control and Body Mass Index (BMI)

What it is

BMI is a measure of the amount of fat in your body. The results are based on height and weight. This test works for both adult men and women.

How it Relates to Diabetes

Being overweight (along with high blood pressure and high cholesterol) increases your risk for cardiovascular disease.

The Quality Standard - How to Know You're Okay

Make sure that your health care provider checks your weight and calculates your BMI at every visit. If they don't, ask them to do it – it only takes a minute. A BMI below 18.5 is considered underweight, 18.5 to 24.9 is normal, 25 to 29.9 is overweight, and 30 or above is considered obese. If you are overweight, it is critical that you begin a plan with your health care team to lose weight (and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease). Start small - set reasonable goals and make small changes in diet, portion size, and your activity level.

What You Can Do

Make sure that your health care provider checks your weight and calculates your BMI at every visit. If they don't, ask them to do it – it only takes a minute. If you are overweight, it is critical that you begin a plan with your health care team to lose weight (and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease). Start small - set reasonable goals and make small changes in diet, portion size, and your activity level.

To Learn More

For more information:

Go to the Quality Health Care and You - Diabetes health topic, where you can:

This article is a NetWellness exclusive.

Last Reviewed: Dec 07, 2012

David C Aron, MD, MS David C Aron, MD, MS
Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University

Bette K Idemoto, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, CCRN Bette K Idemoto, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, CCRN
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
Case Western Reserve University