If you're overweight or obese, losing weight can reduce your risk of some potentially serious health problems.
Most people who need to lose weight can get health benefits from losing even a small amount (about 5%) of their weight if they keep it off.
Health problems linked to being overweight
If you're overweight or obese, you have a higher risk of:
How do I know if I need to lose weight?
You can find out if you're overweight by calculating your body mass index (BMI). This shows whether you're a healthy weight for your height.
The size of your waist is also important. If it's too large, your risk of health problems is higher.
See Why is my waist size important? to find out more.
How can I lose weight safely?
The best way to lose weight is to make small, realistic changes to your diet and how physically active you are.
The amount of physical activity you should do depends on your age. For example, adults between the ages of 19 and 64 should do 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity.
Read the answers to more questions about food and diet.
Page last reviewed: 8 August 2018
Next review due: 8 August 2021