High Blood Pressure
Frequently Asked Questions
14. How do I know if I need to lose weight to prevent or control my blood pressure?
Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of weight in relation to height, and provides an estimate of your total body fat. It applies to both men and women, but it does have some limits:
- It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build.
- It may underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle mass.
As your BMI goes up, so do your chances of getting high blood pressure, heart disease, and other diseases. Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25 to 29.9; obesity is defined as a BMI greater than or equal to 30.
A portion of a body mass index chart is on the right. The full chart is available from NHLBI (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute).
To return to this page after reading the chart, click on the "X" in the upper right hand corner of the chart page.