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The more you weigh, the greater your risk of getting cancer.

Fat tissue produces substances that affect how cells grow in your body. Overweight and obese people often have increased levels of insulin that may make tumors develop. There is also some research that connects obesity with how the body fights disease — changing how the immune system in your body responds to it.

Calculate your BMI

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Body mass index (BMI) is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. Excess body fat is related to serious health conditions. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI’s biggest weakness is that it doesn’t consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit
  • Inadequately evaluate health risks of people with excess abdominal fat

What you can do

In this case, “less is not more.” Being underweight increases your risk of developing health problems such as a nutritional deficiency and/or osteoporosis. A BMI of 18 or less may be the result of malnutrition, an eating disorder or some other condition.

What you can do

Congratulations! You are within the healthy BMI range. Also, make sure your waist measurement is lower than the cutoff. Stay at that weight and check your fitness level, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

What you can do

Good news: Even a small weight loss (between 5 and 10 percent of your current weight) will help lower your risk of developing chronic diseases.

What you can do

Obese people are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions. Talk to your doctor to see whether you are at an increased risk and if you should lose weight.

Receive an email with your results and tips to improve your BMI:

Receive BMI Results by email

Lose Weight

Use the simple 5-2-1-Almost None formula to help you lose weight.

To maintain a healthy weight, follow the recommendations of the 5-2-1-Almost None formula:

  • Eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day. They fight disease and are full of natural energy.
  • Limit recreational screen time to no more than 2 hours each day (includes TV, computer, and gaming).
  • Get at least 1 hour of physical activity each day.
  • Avoid sugary beverages.

Helpful links

  • Quit Smoking

    There are two ways to get help to quit smoking from specially trained counselors: Call the Delaware Quitline by phone at 1-866-409-1858 or visit

    Learn more
  • Healthy Living

    Live better. Our Healthy Lifestyle Map will show you where you can find fresh local produce at farmers’ markets and how to stay active at local fitness centers and parks.

    View Healthy Lifestyle Map
  • Activity Lowers Your Risk for Certain Cancers

    Access the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Physical Activity and Cancer chart to see how regular physical activity can lower your risk for eight cancers.

    Learn more