Boston, MA—Thirty five percent of Americans have a normal body weight. And until recently, doctors thought that normal was good enough. But a recent Harvard study discussed in the October issue of the Harvard Men's Health Watch suggests that, as with blood pressure and cholesterol, lower is better, even within the "normal" range.
The results of the Harvard study are measured through the body mass index (BMI), the best overall indicator of obesity and medical risk. The October issue includes the four steps to calculate BMI and a chart for readers to easily look theirs up.
The new U.S. Dietary Guidelines say that men with BMIs below 18.5 are underweight; 18.5-24.9 is considered healthy; 25-29.9 is moderately overweight; and 30 or above indicates obesity.
To continue reading this article, you must login
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.