Search the Health Library
Get the facts on diseases, conditions, tests and procedures.
I Want To...
Find a Doctor
Find a doctor at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center or Johns Hopkins Community Physicians.
I Want To...
Find Research Faculty
Enter the last name, specialty or keyword for your search below.
What is overweight and obese?
If a person diagnosed as overweight or obese, this typically means that he or she has too much body fat, making the body weight greater than what is considered healthy. For many people, overweight and obesity is caused by taking in too many calories that are not burned in physical exercise.
Doctors and researchers use many different tools to assess a person’s body fat, including BMI and waist circumference. Patients are considered overweight if their BMI is greater than 25 and obese if their BMI is greater than 30. Calculate your BMI.
Medical conditions that cause overweight and obesity
There are some medical conditions that cause you to gain extra weight. This is called secondary obesity. While few patients fit into this category, it is important to have a discussion with your doctor about your risk for these conditions.
Weight-related health conditions
Obesity is also associated with many dangerous health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Associated in this context means that when you have excess body fat, your physicians are likely to be concerned about other health problems that have been linked with obesity. Learn more about weight-related conditions.