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Flight Fitness | Weight Management
While pilots are not currently tested nor disqualified for obesity, Aviation Medical Examiners routinely look for medical conditions caused by obesity and which are disqualifying for pilots and air traffic control specialists.
Measuring ideal weight is not an
exact science but formulas such as the Body Mass Index (found below)
provides a good indication of body weight and physical proportions.
ideal body weight is a matter of caloric balance. To lose weight one
must expend more calories than is consumed.
Aviation Medical Examiners likely have or will increase their interest in pilot applicants who have elevated BMI values or who may exhibit signs or symptoms of conditions which may be related to obesity such as a sleep disorder.
Weight Loss Medications are typically not accepted by the FAA for pilot use. Maintaining ideal weight is best achieved with diet and activity combined; increasing activity while decreasing food intake. Maintaining your ideal weight reduces the risk for many diseases and may prevent premature death.
While the FAA approves very few weight loss medications, there are some herbal preparations which can be effective, yet these often have undesirable side effects.
HOW DO I DETERMINE MY IDEAL WEIGHT?
(1) Measure your waist circumference. Excessive body fat in your waist area increases your risk for many health problems. The waist circumference should be measured just above the navel. A high-risk waistline is defined as more than 35 inches (88 cm) for women, and more than 40 inches (102 cm) for men.
(2) Calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI). The body mass index is a formula to assess a person's body weight relative to height. It's a useful, indirect measure of body composition, because it correlates highly with body fat in most people. Weight in kilograms is divided by height in meters squared (kg/m2). In studies by the National Center for Health Statistics,
Most highly fit people have a high BMI score but very little body fat. For them the waist circumference, the skin-fold or fat-fold measurements, or more direct methods of measuring body fat may be more useful measures.
Maintaining your ideal weight is usually a matter of eating an optimal diet
and being physically active.
Contact us at 800-699-4457 to confidentially discuss your FAA medical certification issues.