How Weight Affects Your Health

body mass indexIt seems like doctor’s offices focus a lot on weight these days. Every appointment, you are weighed and the number on the scale is used not only as a point of discussion, but it is inputted into equations that the doctor uses to determine your health. Your BMI, or body mass index, is one such equation that is taken very seriously by doctors.

Why is so much importance placed on weight? Are doctors subscribing to the mainstream societal pressure that is perpetrated by the media? Are your doctors really concerned about the number as an indicator for your actual health, or are they buying into fat shaming? It can sometimes feel like doctors focus more on weight than they do other indicators for health, so it can be a little too easy to come to the conclusion that they care more about a number on a scale than they do for you.

Maybe if your doctors explained why your weight matters so much you wouldn’t feel so self-conscious or worried about their motives. The fact is that many doctors get so busy that they forget you can’t read minds or that you don’t have a medical degree to understand what everything means.

Understanding how fat affects your heart may better help you to understand why doctors put so much emphasis on your weight and BMI.

What is BMI?

BMI, or body mass index, is a value based on your height and weight. Doctors use an equation to determine your BMI. The equation is: ((your weight) x 703) divided by ((your height in inches) x (your height in inches)). The result of this equation is your body mass index.

Your resulting BMI gives doctors an idea of your overall weight health, if you are under or overweight. The results are put into categories:

•    Under 18.5: Underweight
•    18.5 to 24.9: Normal Weight
•    25 to 29.9: Overweight
•    Over 30: Obese

Most doctors will use a flow chart instead of the actual equation to find your BMI faster, or they will simply input your height and weight into a computer. To find your own BMI, you can use the equation or you can find BMI calculators online.

Why is BMI important?

Fat has a big impact on your body, especially your heart health. Even if you have no other risk factors, being overweight seriously increases your risk of heart disease. Not to mention that obesity is strongly linked to other health conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. So it is no wonder that your doctors put so much importance on your weight.

The good news is that it is never too late to improve your health. No matter how old you are, or what your current health status is, you can always make strides to improve. Eating healthy, regular exercise, and follow through with your physicians can help you greatly improve your health and overall well-being. For more information from HDM4U, click here.

About Mathea

Mathea Ford, RD/LD, is the owner of Healthy Diet Menus For You, LLC. She has over 22 books on Amazon, check out her work at

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