Can you be considered obese if you have a normal body weight?

Watching the numbers on the scale may not be enough to prevent the serious health problems associated with obesity. In fact, it’s actually possible to be at a normal weight and still be considered obese.

What is “normal weight”?
Normal weight is determined by the body mass index. The body mass index considers your height and weight to determine if you’re underweight, overweight, or at a healthy weight. Having a BMI between 18 and 25 is considered normal weight. Unfortunately, body mass index does not take the amount of body fat you have into consideration.

What is “normal weight obesity”?
Obesity is actually defined as having excessive body fat. If your weight or BMI is within the normal range, but you have an excessive amount of body fat on your body, you’re considered to have “normal weight obesity.” The body fat associated with normal weight obesity puts you at risk for the same health problems as conventional obesity, such as high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.

How much body fat is too much?
Unfortunately, there aren’t clear guidelines about how much body fat is too much, and it’s difficult to measure body fat on your own. Some experts recommend that women should have less than 30% of their body made up of fat, while men should have a body fat percentage of less than 25%. If you’re concerned about your body fat percentage and the associated health problems, ask Dr. Holloway to conduct a body fat percentage test to determine your current levels.