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Interpreting Your BMI

BMI Weight Category
Under 18.5 Underweight
18.5- 24.9 Normal
25 - 29.9 Overweight
30 - 34.9 Obese
35 - 39.9 Clinically Obese
40 or greater Morbidly Obese

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a general indicator of whether or not you are maintaining a healthy weight based on the ratio of your weight to your height. It’s an imperfect scale as it doesn't account for differences in body types. For example, a 5 foot 9 inch bodybuilder who weighs 215 pounds and has a 6% body fat would be labeled obese. And there is already a new scale just for people from Southeast Asia where the ranges are lowered.

While it can be a good indicator of the healthiness of your weight if you fall within certain statistical norms that were used to develop it, it should be taken with a significant grain of salt and should not be used as a substitute for a professional evaluation of your health by a doctor.

Contact Us

Center for Weight Management
Two locations:

20 Research Place
North Chelmsford, MA 01863

203 Turnpike Street
2nd Floor
North Andover, MA 01845

Contact Us Form

Phone: 978-788-7200
TTY: 978-937-6889
Phone: 877-LGH-WELL

Noemi Lopez (from Lawrence)

Mom on a Mission

Today, she has lost nearly 150 pounds – more than half her body weight!

Noemi Lopez had struggled with weight all her life.

"I used to eat double or triple meals," she recalls. "We Spanish people make yellow or white rice with almost every meal, and I used to put in three cups of [uncooked] rice just for me and my daughters," she says. "And I'd cook six pieces of meat and eat at least three of them myself."

That way of eating took its toll. By age 32, she weighed 235 pounds.

"My whole family is obese," Noemi says, referring to her parents. "I didn't want to end up like my mom, with diabetes and heart disease. Seeing my mom that way, and my father on the same page... I have two girls, and I want them to have me for a long time."

Noemi decided to turn to the Center for Weight Management at Lowell General Hospital for help. She was an ideal candidate for gastric bypass surgery.

"But it took me almost a year to be ready for surgery," she admits. "Emotionally, I just wasn't prepared to change the way I ate and my relationship with food. I had never gone without eating solid food and thought I'd die being on a liquid diet right after surgery. I was having issues taking care of my mom as her health got worse. I went back and forth, and wasn't sure I could do it."

But with the support and counseling available from the Center, Noemi finally committed to undergoing gastric bypass surgery on October 20, 2009.

"Fruits and vegetables – that's my thing now," she says of her diet. "I have limited rice and only one small serving of meat at meals. Restricting my food intake hasn't been a problem at all – I can go to Friendly's with my kids and the ice cream doesn't call to me at all!

"I also like to be active," she says with masterful understatement. Noemi works full-time as an administrative assistant for a day care center and is completing her bachelor's degree in human services – along with being a single mom. Yet she still finds time to exercise.

"I love to go out and walk," she says. "I come home from work, put on my tight exercise jeans and go to the park or, if there's time, use the elliptical machine."

"I have absolutely no regrets about having surgery, and to this day have no issues with food," she adds. "And I'm liking the way I look and feel."

Click here to learn if you are a candidate for Surgical Treatment and find out when you can attend one of our FREE Weight Management Information Sessions.

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