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Who should lose weight?

Doctors generally agree that people can gain significant health benefits from weight loss if they are 20 percent or more overweight, or if their body mass index (BMI) is 30 or above. (To Find your BMI, click here... >>

Many obesity experts believe that people who are less than 20 percent above their healthy weight (or whose BMI is 27 or above) should try to lose weight if they have any of the following risk factors.
Risk Factors

  • Family history of certain chronic diseases.
    People with close relatives who have had
    heart disease or diabetes are more likely to develop these problems if they are obese.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions.
    High blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, or high blood sugar levels are all warning signs of some obesity-associated diseases.
  • "Apple" shape.
    People whose weight is concentrated around their abdomens may be at greater risk of heart disease, diabetes, or cancer than people of the same weight who are pear-shaped.

Fortunately, even a modest weight loss of ten to 20 pounds can bring significant health improvements, such as lowering one's blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

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