Despite the popularity of fitness fads, low-fat foods, and diet pills, Americans are getting heavier. More than half of us - 61% - are either overweight or obese. This percentage has more than doubled in the last 30 years. It's not only adults who are tipping the scales. More than 13% of American children and teens are overweight. This puts them at greater risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease as they get older.
In the past, we relied on weight tables devised by insurance companies to determine your ideal weight based on your height. Doctors now use two methods to get a picture of how much body fat you have and whether your weight puts you at greater risk for disease:
- body mass index
- waist measurement