Dr. Oz's Know Your 5: The Lifesaving Numbers You Need to Know

Dr. Oz reveals the 5 numbers every American needs to know, imparting critical medical insights that can help you save your own life.

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3. Weight

Stepping on a scale and finding out your body weight is one of the easiest numbers to calculate and an excellent indicator of your overall health. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 1 out of 3 Americans are considered obese, which can cause a slew of health problems such as cardiovascular disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gout, hypertension, high blood pressure and cancer.

  • The average American woman stands approximately 5’4” tall. At this height, you should weight less than 175 pounds, the cut off point for obesity.
  • The average American man is about 5’9” tall and should weigh less than 196, his cut off for obesity.
  • Taller folks can add 5 pounds per inch; if you’re shorter, subtract 5 pounds per inch.
  • Write your weight down monthly. Studies show that by tracking this number, you’ll do a better job keeping it down. 

4. Cholesterol

High cholesterol is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

  • To test your cholesterol levels, you need to see a doctor or someone in the health care field who can administer a simple blood test.
  • Don’t worry about memorizing your total cholesterol number, which can be misleading. Instead, memorize the 2 forms it’s carried in: HDL and LDL. Your HDL, the healthy cholesterol, needs to be 50 or better; your LDL, the unhealthy cholesterol, should be under 100. If your numbers do not fall in this range, discuss strategies for lowering your LDL and increasing your HDL with a health care professional. Click here for more on cholesterol.

5. Fasting Blood Sugar

Testing your fasting blood sugar (FBS) measures your risk for diabetes, a chronic disease that can lead to blindness, cardiac disease, kidney failure, nerve problems and an impaired immune system. Diabetes is particularly high in the African American community.

  • Your fasting blood sugar number must be measured after an 8-hour fast. Fasting is key since ingesting food—say, a banana an hour beforehand—would raise blood sugar levels and could create a false pre-diabetic or diabetic reading. Your FBS can be determined with a simple blood test or a finger stick test.
  • A fasting blood sugar number above 100 is considered pre-diabetic; treatment measures should be discussed with a physician.

By knowing and staying on top of Dr. Oz’s 5 numbers, you’ll minus the threat of major chronic diseases and multiply your odds for health and longevity.