What Is Your Healthy Body Weight

What Is Your Healthy Body Weight

Everywhere we​ look in​ the​ western world we​ are inundated with pictures,​ images,​ icons and inferences of​ the​ 'perfect' female shape! the​ truth is​ that many of​ these images are altered or​ enhanced in​ some way and do not depict the​ typical female form. the​ pressure to​ lose weight is​ immense when we​ are bombarded every day with media selling products based on​ slimness,​ sex appeal and fashion. the​ constant message is​ that slimness will make you desireable.

With the​ current demographic trends in​ western countries,​ and faced with a​ sea of​ high fat,​ high sugar combined with physical inactivity; it​ is​ time to​ pay attention to​ our weight but not for any reasons of​ desirability. the​ most important reason for wanting to​ be a​ healthy body weight is​ for health rather than for how your body looks.

Overweight and obesity are major public health problems in​ western countries. Since the​ 1980s both adult men and women have become heavier,​ with obesity rates more than doubling in​ the​ last 20 years! Children are also becoming heavier. There is​ a​ growing concern that we​ are inadvertently training our overweight children to​ become obese adults. it​ has been said,​ we​ are digging our graves with out teeth! So how can we​ determine what is​ a​ healthy body weight for each individual?

How you tell if​ you are overweight

As we​ are all different shapes and sizes,​ there is​ not one recommended weight for your height. Instead there is​ a​ range of​ weights that are healthy for your height. One way to​ check your weight is​ to​ calculate your Body Mass Index or​ BMI.

Your BMI is​ a​ ratio or​ comparison of​ your height and weight expressed in​ a​ number. to​ find out your BMI you need to​ divide your weight (measured in​ kg) by your height (measured in​ m) squared. if​ you do not know your measurements in​ the​ metric system you can find any number of​ BMI calculators online that will do the​ conversion for you into empirical measures. One such calculator is​ at​ the​ website listed below.

The accepted definitions of​ weight categories by BMI are:

Underweight - BMI less than 18.5
Healthy weight - BMI between 18.5 and 24.9
Overweight - BMI equal to​ or​ greater than 25 and up to​ 29.9
Obese - BMI equal to​ or​ greater than 30

These BMI values only apply to​ adults aged 18 years and over and are based on​ studies of​ Caucasian populations. Therefore,​ they are not applicable to​ children and adolescents and they may not be appropriate for people of​ other cultural backgrounds.

Another way to​ check your weight is​ to​ measure your waist circumference,​ using a​ tape measure. This gives you an​ idea of​ whether you have a​ lot of​ fat stored around your middle. Waist circumferences associated with increased health risk are:

For men Waist circumference greater than 94cm
For women Waist circumference greater than 80cm

Being a​ healthy weight can help:

- improve blood cholesterol levels,​ blood pressure and blood glucose levels
- reduce your risk of​ other health related problems
- improve self confidence and self esteem
- make it​ easier to​ be physically active.

If you are obese or​ overweight…try not to​ gain additional weight. This will help you in​ years to​ come as​ people tend to​ increase weight with age. Better still look after your body and follow a​ healthy lifestyle incorporating a​ nutritious,​ delicious,​ health enhancing weight loss program. Just by losing 10 pounds you can significantly improve your overall health.

(c) 2004 Kim Beardsmore

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