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Overweight? Getting a Handle on Weight Problems

Photo: Woman from the knees down standing on scale

women legs with overweight standing on bathroom scales

Addressing Concerns about Your Weight

Study after study shows that many Americans carry more weight than is healthy for them, increasing the risk of joint and muscle injury, high blood pressure, stroke or heart attack. One recent report concluded that two out of every three Americans are “overweight” and half of those are “obese.”

The Distinction between “Overweight” and “Obese”

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) measures weight by determining your body mass index (BMI). Body mass index looks at your weight as compared to your height, and does not make a distinction between genders. A quick glance at the BMI chart shows why so many Americans are considered overweight. For example, if you are 6′ 1″, an acceptable body weight would be between 140 and 189 pounds. The maximum weight for someone who is 5′ 10″ is 174 and a 5’4″ person would be overweight at 146 pounds. Under the CDC’s guidelines, a 6′ 1″ person who weighs more than 233 is considered obese, as would a 5′ 4″ person who weighed 175.

Losing Weight is Simple-Right?

At its most fundamental level, weight maintenance is about the exchange of energy. Calories are units of energy, so when you eat or drink, you take in energy. Through various activities (and simply by being alive), you also expend energy. So, theoretically, to lose weight, you must burn more energy than you take in and to maintain weight, you must not take in more energy than you expend.

There are, however, other factors that can contribute to the “energy imbalance” that results in weight gain. The most common factor is your metabolism—the process by which your body takes what you eat and drink and transforms it into energy (what we call “burning calories”). Your metabolism can vary based on:

  • Your size (the good news is that larger people burn more calories participating in the same activities)
  • Your gender—unfortunately for women, men tend to have less body fat and more muscle, so they burn more calories doing the same activity
  • Your age—the older you are, the fewer calories you burn participating in the same activity

Come to Hillcrest Medical

In the Dallas area, the best place for urgent care is Hillcrest Medical. Many of our patients also choose to make our doctor their primary care physician. Come and check out our facility and meet our doctor and staff. We’re here to help you now, and we’re here for all your future urgent care needs.

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