Diagnosing Obesity


Lt Col Phillips
Besides BMI and waist circumference, there are several other factors that may contribute to a diagnosis of obesity. Dr. Patel, will you explain what these are?

Dr. Patel
While the diagnosis of obesity is primarily based on BMI, further evaluation should be done to assess overall risk. This involves, among other things, a detailed health history. When a healthcare provider assesses a patient, they may consider weight history, previous weight loss efforts, eating habits, exercise habits, or any other conditions, medications, levels of stress, or other issues relating to a person’s health.

A healthcare provider may also check other factors such as high blood pressure or the presence of diabetes.

Healthcare providers may also schedule a general physical exam, during which they may measure the patient’s height, examine the abdomen, and check vital signs.

The provider may also order blood tests for newly diagnosed obese patients. These tests typically include:

  • Cholesterol
  • Liver function
  • Fasting glucose, and
  • Thyroid tests