Ideal weight for women age 60 & over

Written by shannon burton
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As women age, menopause, changes in metabolism, and physical bodily changes can all affect their eight. Despite all of these factors, attaining and sustaining an ideal body weight at age 60 or over is important for women. Knowing what your ideal weight, and taking steps to reach it and maintain it, can help you lead a healthier life.

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Definition

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), having normal body weight means having a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9. This measurement is used for both male and female adults over the age of 19. Your BMI is a number found with a fairly simple formula based on your weight and height. The closer your BMI is to 22, the closer you are to the "ideal" weight, as a BMI of 22 is associated with the fewest weight-related risks.

Calculation

Many BMI calculators are available online (see Resources). Find your BMI by dividing your weight (in pounds) by your height (in inches) squared, and multiplying this number by 703. A BMI under 18.5 signifies that a person is underweight. BMIs of 25-29.9 classify a person as overweight, and people with BMI's of 30 and over are considered obese.

Risks

Being outside of the normal body weight range according to your BMI comes with many health risks. Women with BMIs below 18.5 are at a heightened risk for anaemia, a weak immune system, osteoporosis and infertility. Women with BMIs over 24.9 are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Even more conditions are added to the list of concerns when a BMI reaches or surpasses 30.

Significance

In 2005-2006, 35.3 per cent of U.S. women were obese, not just overweight, according to the CDC. A fact sheet published in 2005 warned of an increased risk of death in underweight and obese people. As difficult as it may be to maintain a healthy body weight as a woman ages, the factors associated with an unhealthy weight are too significant to ignore.

Considerations

When explaining why they use BMI for weight assessment, the CDC says that "for most people, BMI is a reliable indicator of body fatness." However, it is possible to have a body type that does not fit neatly into the measurements of the BMI. A person with a larger or smaller frame may be classified as overweight or underweight, but still be perfectly healthy. If you are concerned about your weight or BMI, talk to your doctor.

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