Obesity Screening

Obesity Screening

Obesity screening is a vital part of preventive health care that helps to monitor and identify individuals who may be at risk of developing obesity. Obesity screening is the process of measuring a person’s body composition, including body fat, lean body mass, and waist circumference, to determine whether they have a higher than normal amount of body fat. It is important to keep in mind that obesity screening is not an actual diagnosis of obesity.


When preparing for an obesity screening, patients should be aware of the tests that may be involved. This may include a physical exam, or more advanced testing such as body fat and lean body mass measurements. Patients should also have any relevant medical records on hand, including their current weight, history of weight gain/loss, and any other medical tests they may have had.


During the obesity screening, the doctor will take the patient’s vital signs as a baseline reading. Afterwards, they will measure the individual’s body composition, body fat, waist circumference, and lean body mass. The doctor might also examine dietary or lifestyle habits that may be contributing to the patient’s weight gain or inability to lose weight.


There are several different types of obesity screening tests. Some of the most common include:

  • Body Mass Index (BMI) – This test is one of the most commonly used measures of overweight and obesity. BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared.
  • Waist Circumference – This test measures the circumference of a person’s waist to determine if they have a higher than normal amount of abdominal fat.
  • Skin Fold Measurements – During this test, skin folds are pinched at various locations on the body with a handheld device called a caliper to measure the thickness of the skin. This measure of body fat is generally more reliable than BMI.
  • Lean Body Mass Measurements – This test measures the ratio of fat to muscle in the body and can be used to indicate if a person is overweight or obese based on their muscle mass.


It is important to keep in mind that obesity screening is not meant to diagnose obesity or suggest any health-related risks. While there may be potential risk factors associated with obesity, it is important to remember that obesity screening is not meant to diagnose any disease or medical condition.

Why is Obesity Screening Important?

Obesity screening is important because it can identify individuals who are at increased risk for developing obesity-related health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and other metabolic diseases. Additionally, obesity screening can lead to early intervention and lifestyle changes that can reduce the risk of developing these conditions. It is important to note that obesity screening alone cannot and should not replace a comprehensive diet and exercise plan for reducing weight.

When Should I Be Screened?

Obesity screening should be done on a regular basis starting at the age of two years old. For adults, it should be done at least once a year. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider for more specific recommendations.