According to a report recently released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of obese adults in this country has remained unchanged, with over one in three carrying excess weight. Despite increased awareness about the condition and multiple public health campaigns promoting healthier lifestyles, the country as a whole does not seem to be heeding the warnings about the risks of being obese, according to the government agency.

The CDC report found that 35 percent of American adults are obese, defined as an individual having a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30.

In an interview with HealthDay News, Rachel Johnson, a spokesperson for the American Heart Association, said that the CDC report shows that health educators still have a lot of work to do to lessen the epidemic. She noted that weight-loss surgery, the most common remedy to fight obesity, has been largely ineffective with dealing with the issue on a large-scale. In addition, Johnson said that public health officials should do a better job in limiting the widespread availability of cheap, high-calorie foods.

“My view is that we have to start making some pretty major environmental changes so we make the healthy choice the easy choice,” Johnson told the source. “We’ve got to move beyond the idea that it’s all about personal choice and education, and we need to start making these environmental changes.”

Being overweight or obese greatly increases an individual’s risk for heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Not only will maintaining a healthy weight help you prevent these illnesses, it may also qualify you for lower life insurance rates. For a competitive quote on a term life insurance policy, visit our website to use our convenient online quote engine.

Can the Overweight and Obese Still Find Good Life Insurance Rates?

Height and weight are key factors that life insurance companies use to help determine a person’s rate class and premium for coverage. There are guidelines that each company follows, and these may differ between various life insurance companies.

The average adult male in America is 5’9” tall and weighs 196 pounds according to the CDC. It also means the average adult male in America is overweight, according to their BMI charts. As if that wasn’t enough, if that man enjoys some great meals during the holidays and gains six little pounds, he’d then be considered obese.
As for women, we see an average height in the United States of 5’4”, with an average weight of 166 pounds. This is also officially “overweight” by CDC standards, but the average woman would still be able to qualify for the very best life insurance rates from most companies. She would have to pack on more than 120 pounds, on average, before she is turned down for coverage by some life insurance companies.

Can Obese People Find Great Life Insurance?

Yes! Those who are not at the “optimal weight” for their height and build can still find coverage that meets their needs. We’ve checked out some of the rules regarding weight guidelines and found a few interesting facts, like the fact that people who are of average weight can gain more than 100 pounds before they’re unable to buy life insurance at an excellent rate. In this example, our man who stands at 5’9” would have to weigh over 300 pounds, in general, before he would have trouble buying life insurance from some providers. Keep in mind, however, that every company has its own guidelines that it uses to determine eligibility and rates.

Our experts at know which companies are most liberal and how various companies’ height and weight tables are different from others.

How Does Weight Affect Life Insurance?

Every life insurance company follows its own chart, called a build chart, that lists the maximum allowable weights for each premium price level – each inch of height has a different allowable weight maximum. Life insurance agents use these charts to determine the rates that clients will receive. Typically, the best rates are called “preferred plus” rates, which go to the people who are the healthiest with the best placements on the build charts.

What the CDC Charts and Build Charts Really Mean

If you take away anything from this article, keep in mind that even those who are overweight can qualify for decent life insurance rates, as long as there are no other health problems that would bump up the premiums. The bottom line is, don’t be alarmed by the CDC’s BMI weight classifications. In general, you have to be extremely obese to be denied at multiple companies for life insurance.

Remember: Each insurance company is different. Click here to start with instant term life insurance quotes, return of premium term life insurance quotes, or contact us so we can shop the market for the best rate for you.

Life Insurance Rates and Body Weight

The main reason why people with higher BMIs have higher premiums is because those who are heavy tend to have lower life expectancy, based on calculations from insurance underwriters.
Here’s an example of how weight affects premiums: A man standing 5’11” weighing 246 pounds would pay $330 more annually for a $500,000 policy than a man of the same height who weighs 50 pounds less, standing at 196 pounds. A woman would pay about the same increased amount for weighing 50 pounds more than her counterpart, as well.

How Do Insurers Know Your Weight?

Although you might think you’d be able to write down an inaccurate height and weight on your application for life insurance and get by with lower rates, your numbers will be verified during your life insurance medical exam anyway. In addition, it’s recommended that you not go on a crash diet before your exam, because most companies will pull your history from several months or even years back. This history is more influential than your weight at any single point, and once your life insurance policy has been issued, there’s no way for companies to tell if a policyholder has gained weight or not.

You can find insurance company height and weight guidelines here.