One of the most common questions we have received in our email inbox is “how much should I weigh?” In this article, we will explain 4 common methods to help you work this out.
To determine how much you should weigh (your ideal body weight) several factors should be considered, including age, muscle-fat ratio, height, sex, and bone density.
Some health professionals suggest that calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI) is the best way to decide whether your body weight is ideal. Others say that BMI is inaccurate as it does not account for muscle mass, and that waist-hip ratio is a better method.
It’s worth remembering that one person’s ideal body weight may be completely different to another’s. If you compare yourself to family and friends you risk either aiming too high (if you are surrounded by obese or overweight people), or too low (if everyone around you works as a fashion model). Even comparing yourself with people outside your immediate surroundings may not work.
he levels of overweight and obesity in countries as the USA or UK, are much higher than in countries such as The Netherlands. So a Dutch person may aim for a lower ideal weight than an American if all he did was to compare himself to other people.
A recent study may have turned national guidelines on people’s ideal weight on its head. Researchers found that overweight people have a lower all-cause mortality risk compared to those of normal weight.
Method 1: Body mass index (BMI)
Your BMI is a measure of your weight in relation to your height. Health authorities worldwide mostly agree that:
People with a BMI of less than 18.5 are underweight.
A BMI of between 18.5 and 25 is ideal.
Somebody with a BMI between 25 and 30 is classed as overweight.
A person with a BMI over 30 is obese.
In some countries health authorities say the lower limit for BMI is 20, anything below it is underweight.
What is the problem with BMI?
BMI is a very simple measurement which does not take into account the person’s waist, chest or hip measurements. As an extreme example of this, an Olympic 100m sprint champion is likely to have a BMI higher than a couch potato of the same height. The couch potato may have a big belly, not much muscle and a lot of body fat on his hips, upper thighs, in his blood and on other parts of his body. While the athlete will have a smaller waist, much less body fat, and most likely enjoy better health. Using a pure BMI criteria, the couch potato may be considered healthier.
BMI does not take into account bone density (bone mass). A person with severe osteoporosis (very low bone density) may have a lower BMI than somebody else of the same height who is healthy, but the person with osteoporosis will have a larger waist, more body fat and weak bones.
Many experts criticize BMI as not generally useful in evaluation of health. It is at best a rough ballpark basic standard that may indicate population variations, but should not be used for individuals in health care.
Put simply: experts say that BMI underestimates the amount of body fat in overweight/obese people and overestimates it in lean or muscular people.
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Shared from medicalnewstoday.com