Know Your Numbers

Knowing Your Numbers is an important part of keeping you healthy. It is the first step to a healthier lifestyle. It can help you and your doctor know your risks and begin a path toward a healthier you.

These numbers are your Blood Sugar, Blood Pressure, Blood Cholesterol, and Body Mass Index (BMI). These numbers provide a key snapshot of your personal health and risk potential serious and chronic health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity and more.

Blood Sugar

This is the amount of sugar in your blood. Before eating, your number should be less than 100. And two hours after eating, it should be less than 140.

Blood Pressure

This is the force of blood against your arteries when your heart beats (top numbers) and resets (bottom number). Your number should be less than 120/80.

Blood Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy substance produced by the liver. Too much can make it harder for blood to circulate. Your total score should be less than 200. For more information on blood cholesterol, visit the CDC Knowing Your Risk for High Cholesterol webpage.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Your ideal BMI or body weight depends on your gender, age, height, and frame. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • If your BMI is less than 18.5, it falls within the underweight range.
  • If your BMI is 18.5 to 24.9, it falls within the normal range.
  • If your BMI is 25.0 to 29.9, it falls within the overweight range.
  • If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obese range.

Obesity is frequently subdivided into categories:

  • Class 1: BMI of 30 to 34.9
  • Class 2: BMI of 35 to 39.9
  • Class 3: BMI of 40 or higher. Class 3 obesity is sometimes categorized as “extreme” or “severe” obesity.

If your numbers are not at the normal level, work with your doctor to develop a plan to reach these goals. For more information on BMI, visit the CDC Healthy Weight webpage.