JANA KLAUER, MD: When we talk about body weight, we talk about body mass index, and this is a term that relates height and weight to our risk for disease.
Overweight is a narrow range defined as 25 to 29.9, and obese is a BMI of 30 or above. And we've actually looked at the risk for disease, various diseases, cancers and cardiovascular disease, and found that there's a linear rise with the risk for those diseases as BMI increases.
ANNOUNCER: There's another way to judge if your weight is appropriate. Just get a tape measure.
JANA KLAUER, MD: Even more important than body mass index is waist size; we found the waist size to be a predictor of disease. So even if someone is of a normal body mass index and their waist size is increased, they are at risk for disease, and they should be advised to lose weight.
What do we consider abnormal? A waist size of greater than 40 inches for a male or greater than 35 inches for a female is a risk for cardiovascular disease; that means stroke and heart attack.
ANNOUNCER: No one wants to be fat but often we don't realize those few extra pounds have become a few too many. And it's not easy to tell someone the bad news.
JANA KLAUER, MD: If these are family members or dear friends, just as you would say something to them about another health condition they might be at risk for, you certainly should about their weight.
The most important thing in maintaining a healthy weight is to see your body as the miraculous creation that it is and to treat it with respect and to treat it as a precious possession that you want to nurture. Think of when you were a child and you used to run around with energy and exuberance and people would say to you, "Sit still." Go back to that, run around with exuberance. That's really what we need.