Definitions of Health Indicators

What is Obesity and Overweight?

Weight that is higher than what is considered a healthy weight for a given height is described as overweight or obese. The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness.

BMI is used to categorize weight as follows, with obesity frequently subdivided into 3 classes:

Weight CategoriesBMI
Underweight< 18.5
Normal (healthy)18.5 – 24.9
Overweight25 – 30
     Class 1:
     Class 2:
     Class 3:
> 30
30 – 35
35 – 40
> 40
Class 3 obesity is sometimes categorized as
“extreme” or “severe” obesity.


How is BMI determined for Mapping Idaho Health?

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) calculates BMI based on survey respondent’s self-reported weight and height. The survey interviewer asks:

  • About how much do you weigh without shoes?
  • About how tall are you without shoes?

Note: At an individual level, BMI can be used as a screening tool but is not diagnostic of the body fatness or the health of an individual. A trained healthcare provider should perform appropriate health assessments in order to evaluate an individual’s health status and risks.

More about Adult Overweight and Obesity Definitions

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a long-lasting health condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy.

When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

More information about Diabetes

How is diabetes determined for Mapping Idaho Health?

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) asked survey respondents:

  • Have you ever been told you have diabetes?

Women who were told they had diabetes during pregnancy and people who were told they had pre-diabetes/borderline diabetes are not included as having diabetes.