Obesity is characterized as excess body fat. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a common tool that is used to measure body fat. An adult with a BMI level that is 30 or above is considered obese. You can find out what your BMI is by visiting CDC’s Assessing Your Weight Web site

BMI Weight Classification

Below 18.5 Underweight

18.5 – 24.9 Normal weight

25.0 – 29.9 Overweight

30.0 and above Obese

2013 statistics on Obesity for African-American women age 20 years old and older

• According to the American Heart Association(AHA),79.9% of black women are overweight or obese.

• According to the American Heart Association(AHA),53.9% of black women are obese(BMI 30.0 kg/m2 and higher).

Risk factors that can be modified to reduce your risk of being obese.

Being obese puts you at risk for several health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, etc.

• Diet- eating more calories than you burn.

• Physical inactivity – not getting enough physical activity can lead to excess weight gain.

Prevention – tips to prevent or reduce your risk of being obese.

• Healthy eating- increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you consume, eat foods that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol , and eat foods that are high in fiber. Increase your water intake .

• Exercise regularly- working out can help you maintain a healthy

• Maintain a healthy weight- find out what is your healthy weight number by calculating your body mass index(BMI). You can find out what your BMI is by visiting CDC’s Assessing Your Weight Web site.


1. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention(CDC). Body Mass Index: Consideration for Practitioners. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/downloads/bmiforpactitioners.pdf

2. Obesity Action Coalition (OAC). What is Obesity? . Available from http://www.obesityaction.org/understanding-obesity/obesity

3. Go AS, Mozaffarian D, Roger VL, Benjamin EJ, Berry JD, Borden WB, Bravata DM, Dai S, Ford ES, Fox CS, Franco S, Fullerton HJ, Gillespie C, Hailpern SM, Heit JA, Howard VJ, Huffman MD, Kissela BM, Kittner SJ, Lackland DT, Lichtman JH, Lisabeth LD, Magid D, Marcus GM, Marelli A, Matchar DB, McGuire DK, Mohler ER, Moy CS, Mussolino ME, Nichol G, Paynter NP, Schreiner PJ, Sorlie PD, Stein J, Turan TN, Virani SS, Wong ND, Woo D, Turner MB;on behalf of the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2013 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2013; 127:e6-e245.

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