Facebook Pixel

Latinas' Health: Overweight and Obesity

Rate This

Overweight and obesity are serious health problems for Latino families. For instance, about 3 in 4 Mexican-American women are overweight or obese.

Mexican-American women make up the largest portion of Latinas in the United States. Another problem is that nearly 6 in 10 Latinas are not physically active, making it harder to keep a healthy weight.

Being overweight or obese increases your risk for:

Heart disease
Type 2 diabetes
High blood pressure

Breathing problems
Gallbladder disease
Sleep apnea
Some cancers

Use this Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator to calculate your BMI.

Obesity or overweight is measured with a body mass index (BMI). The taller you are, the more weight you can carry. And shorter people can't carry as much weight. So, the BMI shows the relationship of weight to height.

For instance, if you are 5 feet 4 inches tall and weigh 145 pounds, your BMI is 25. But if you are 5 feet 4 inches tall and weigh 174 pounds, your BMI is 30. Women with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 are considered overweight. Women with a BMI of 30 or more are considered obese.

All people 18 years or older who have a BMI of 25 or more are at risk of early death and disability from being overweight or obese. These health risks increase as the BMI rises.

If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can lower your risk of many health problems. And physical activity is one key part of weight loss and keeping a healthy weight. Health benefits are gained by doing the following each week:

Aerobic activity that includes:

2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity
1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity
A combination of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity
Muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days of the week

This physical activity should be in addition to your routine activities of daily living, such as cleaning or spending a few minutes walking from the parking lot to your office. If weight loss is your goal, you may need to spend more time doing aerobic activity to see the effects.

Eating healthy meals that focus on portion control also plays a role in weight loss and keeping a healthy weight. If you need to lose weight, ask your doctor to help you with a weight-loss plan that includes healthy meal planning and physical activity.

More resources on minority women's health

Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

If you have a BMI of 30 or more and dieting and exercise haven't worked for you, then weight loss surgery may be right for you. Weight loss, or bariatric, surgery helps you lose weight rapidly and improves or resolves co-existing health problems like diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. The Renaissance Bariatric and Metabolic Institute (BMI) team is experienced and talented and provides full-time support.
Attend a FREE Renaissance BMI informational session about weight loss surgery options!

November 13, 2012 - 1:22pm
EmpowHER Guest

This helps me eat healthy and stay active, i combine this to my diet and lifestyle for great stability and energy : http://defitavie.myvi.net Go check it out !

September 21, 2012 - 7:10am
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


Get Email Updates

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!