Tucson, Arizona (NAPSI) - An estimated 72 million Americans are affected by obesity, with nearly one out of three affected by excess weight. Yet, according to some experts, a weight loss of even 5 percent may improve health and reduce risks of some diseases.

That is the word from a new campaign called Your Weight Matters. It’s designed to draw attention to the fact that there are many health implications that accompany excess weight and obesity. For example, diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea are some of the many health conditions related to the issue of weight and obesity.

The campaign-developed by the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC)-encourages people to measure their weight and discuss it with their healthcare provider. To prepare themselves for that discussion, individuals can take the Campaign Challenge and receive the Your Weight Matters Toolkit for free, which is designed to help them talk to their healthcare provider.

Measuring Your Weight

You may not be aware of how your weight is impacting your health. The Your Weight Matters Campaign will help you measure your weight and prepare you for your talk with your healthcare provider. One simple way to measure your weight is to calculate your body mass index, or BMI, which is a number calculated by dividing a person’s weight by his/her height squared. The result will fall into one of four main weight categories that healthcare professionals use when assessing weight. They are “normal,” “overweight,” “obesity” and “severe obesity.” The campaign’s website has a calculator that makes it easy to get your BMI and a more detailed description of how to understand the results.

Taking the Challenge

The OAC encourages you to take the Campaign Challenge by making an online pledge to talk to your healthcare provider about your weight.

By taking the Challenge, you will receive the free Campaign Toolkit, which covers a wide variety of valuable information on weight, health, nutrition, exercise, emotional issues, weight-loss options, benefits of weight-loss and more.

Most importantly, the Campaign Toolkit will prepare you for your first appointment with your healthcare provider by providing you with sample questions for your provider, a food journal, wellness tips and more.

To measure your weight, learn more and take the Challenge, visit www.YourWeightMatters.org.