Extra body fat is associated with high Triglycerides and low HDL-C levels. Extra body fat, especially around the middle, increases risks of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Some health professionals, such as Registered Dietitians, can measure your body fat using a special machines. Bio-electrical impedance is one example: http://www.inbodycanada.ca/products/inbody-570/

Most health professionals will identify a healthy body weight for you using your body mass index and your waist circumference:

Body Mass Index

Body mass index (BMI) compares your body weight to your height.  BMI does not apply to infants, children, adolescents, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and adults over 65 years of age. A healthy body weight for your height is a BMI between 18.5-24.9 (see the table below).  You can calculate your BMI using this formula – divide your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared:

BMI =  weight (kg)
height  (m)2

Waist circumference

Where you carry extra body fat is more important than much you weigh. If you carry extra body fat around your tummy and if your waist circumference measures more than your hips you are at a higher risk for heart disease and diabetes. Extra fat around the tummy area can also increase Triglycerides, blood sugar and blood pressure levels.

How to measure your waist circumference:
Put your thumb on your hip and slide it up until is sitting on top of your hipbone. With a tape measure, measure your waistline just above the top of your two hipbones. This is your waist circumference. You could have a healthy BMI, but have a waist circumference that is high  enough to put you at risk of developing obesity related health problems, including elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood pressure and diabetes. See the chart below to figure out your level of risk.


Risks of cardiovascular disease relative to body mass index and waist circumference