More than two-thirds of U.S. adults and almost one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Obesity is caused by several contributing factors, including poor diet, lack of physical activity, and environmental influences.
More than two-thirds of U.S. adults and almost one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Obesity is a contributing factor to many health problems, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some types of cancer.
Obesity is the result of several contributing factors, including what you eat and lack of physical activity. Additional contributing factors include the food and physical activity environment, food marketing and promotion.
Obesity is defined as having excess body fat. Body Mass Index (BMI) can be used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems, but it is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual. BMI is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of the body height.
To estimate your BMI, see the Adult BMI Calculator or determine BMI by finding your height and weight in this BMI Index Chart.
- If your BMI is less than 18.5, it falls within the underweight range
- If your BMI is 18.5 to <25, it falls within the normal range
- If your BMI is 25.0 to <30, it falls within the overweight range
- If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obese range
Following a healthy lifestyle will help to prevent obesity, as well as other health issues. Start building healthy habits now:
- Make healthy food choices
- Reduce screen time
- Watch portion sizes in fast food and other restaurants
- Be active – get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week
Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information on obesity.
Asthma is a chronic condition that causes wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing at night or early in the morning. If people with asthma are exposed to a “trigger” the symptoms can become more severe.
Asthma Triggers include:
- Smoke or secondhand smoke
- Outdoor allergens, such as pollens from grass, trees and weeds
- Indoor allergens, such as pet dander, dust mites and mold
- Certain drugs and food additives
- Irritants in the air, chemical fumes and strong odors
- Colds, the flu or other illnesses
- Exercise (although people with asthma can benefit from some exercise)
- Weather conditions, such as cold air or extremely dry, wet or windy weather
Asthma cannot be cured. However, by eliminating asthma triggers and taking asthma medication, you may be able to reduce the frequency of your asthma attacks. Treatment varies from person to person so it is important to work with your doctor to manage your asthma. Learn how to recognize, reduce or eliminate common asthma triggers in your home.
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. People of all ages, sexes and races can get arthritis but it is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older.
While there is no sure way to prevent arthritis, you can help reduce your risk and delay the potential onset of certain types of arthritis.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Your knees have to support your body weight. Being overweight or obese can take a real toll on them.
- Be physically active. Exercise not only takes the stress of excess weight off your joints. It also strengthens the muscles around the joints, which protects them from wear and tear.
- Wear proper safety equipment when playing sports. Over time, the joints can start to wear out. But when you injure your joint—for example, while playing sports or due to an accident—you can damage the cartilage in the knee and cause it to wear out more quickly.
Visit the Arthritis Foundation website for local programs and classes. You can also help manage your risk by participating in our free lifestyle programs:
There are many types of cancer. It can start in the lungs, breast, colon, or even in the blood. While cancers are alike in some ways, they are different in the ways they grow and spread.
The signs and symptoms of cancer depend on where the cancer is, how big it is, and how much it affects the organs or tissues. If a cancer has spread (metastasized), signs or symptoms may appear in different parts of the body. Just as the signs and symptoms can vary, the treatment options for each individual will vary as well.
The good news is many cancer deaths can be prevented by making healthy lifestyle choices like:
- Getting regular physical activity
- Eating a healthy diet
- Quitting tobacco use
- Getting recommended cancer screenings
- Wearing sunscreen
- Maintaining a healthy weight
You can manage your risk by participating in our free lifestyle programs: