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Are You Overweight? Here Is How To Know

Have you added on some weight recently and wondering whether you are now overweight or still within the “healthy” weight range? Keep on reading to find out exactly how to know whether your weight is within the healthy range or it’s time for you to lose some weight.

The first thing that scares people when it comes to determining whether they are overweight or not is the value obtained from the weighing scale after checking their weight. But, is knowing your weight all that is needed in determining whether you are overweight or not?

That is an absolute no. Whether you are overweight or not does not only depend on the weight value you determined on your weighing scale. It goes way beyond that. You must be aware that two different people may have the same weight but one will be overweight while the other may be considered to have a healthy weight.

What does overweight mean?

There is a normal weight for each individual but the concept of overweight doesn’t just take into consideration the weight but also the height of the individual. You will be considered overweight when your weight far exceeds the expected weight for your height.

Your height will become constant after some time in life (usually after puberty). However, your weight can keep fluctuating based on several factors as explained in this article

So anytime your weight increases beyond what is expected for your height then you will be said to be overweight or obese.

Is overweight the same as being obese?

Technically being overweight is not the same as being obese. However, both words are sometimes used interchangeably since most people who have an abnormal weight are likely to be obese.

In simple terms, obesity is an extreme form of overweight. Clinically, the body mass index (BMI) is used to tell whether you have a normal weight, you are overweight or you are obese.

Body mass index is a parameter that takes into consideration your weight and your height so is able to give an accurate estimate of whether your weight is normal or not.

How to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI Calculator)

The BMI is calculated by dividing your weight by the square of your height. 

NB: Be mindful of the units of measurements used for both the weight and the height.

It is preferred to measure the weight in kilograms and the height in meters. Hence the unit of measurement of BMI becomes kg/m2. Note that any of the other related units can be used and converted back to these.

For instance, let’s use the above formula to calculate your body mass index assuming you have the following parameters.

Weight = 75kg

Height = 1.72m

We have to find the square of the height (1.72m x 1.72m = 2.9584m2) then divide your weight by the answer obtained.

BMI = 75kg / 2.9584m2

BMI = 25.35kg/m2

Now let’s take a look at the reference ranges for BMI so that you can determine whether you are overweight, underweight, or obese or have a normal weight,

According to the CDC 

  • BMI less than 18.5 is considered underweight
  • BMI between 18.5 and 25 is considered normal weight
  • BMI between 25 and 30 is considered overweight
  • BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese

This means that for our example, you are slightly overweight. This is basically how to tell whether you have a normal weight or you are overweight.

On that note, don’t just use the recording of your weight alone to determine whether you are overweight or not. Always find your height as well and calculate the BMI for a correct assessment of your weight.

The way you take the reading may also affect the results, click here to read more on how to obtain the best of readings with a weighing scale.


Dr. Ehoneah Obed is a registered pharmacist and a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana. He has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and has experience working in a Tertiary hospital as well as various community pharmacies. He is also a software engineer interested in healthcare technologies.

His love for helping others motivates him to create content on an array of topics mostly relating to the health of people and also software engineering content.

He is knowledgeable in digital marketing, content marketing, and a host of other skills that make him versatile enough to uplift any team he joins.

Chief Editor at Wapomu.com

MPSGH, MRPharmS, MPhil.

Isaiah Amoo is a practicing community pharmacist in good standing with the Pharmacy Council of Ghana who has meaningful experience in academia and industrial pharmacy. He is a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, England, UK and currently pursuing his overseas pharmacy assessment programme (MSc) at Aston University, UK. He had his MPhil degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. He has about 5 years’ experience as a community Pharmacist and has also taught in academic institutions like KNUST, Kumasi Technical University, Royal Ann College of Health, and G-Health Consult. He likes to spend time reading medical research articles and loves sharing his knowledge with others.

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