Having a healthy body weight is an important part of your overall health. Excess weight can put extra strain on your entire body, even eventually leading to coronary heart disease and stroke, says the United States Department of Health and Human Services. While the definition of "healthy body weight" differs between people, the proper range can be determined by assessing height, current weight, bone structure and age. The USDHHS says that maintaining a healthy body-mass index, or BMI, is essential to good health. The United States Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, publishes weight charts through age 20; in older people, age is not considered useful in terms of calculating ideal weight. However, each person should consult with their personal physician to determine if their weight is age- and body-type-appropriate.
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Calculate your BMI using your current height and weight. BMI is usually expressed as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer BMI calculators and weight charts for adults and children up to age 20.
Read the BMI results page. This tells you if you are in the normal range for BMI. According to the CDC, a BMI below 18.5 is underweight, 18.5 to 24.9 is normal, 25 to 29.9 is overweight and 30 and over is obese.
Access a weight chart that includes frame size. Frame size is a measure that determines if you are small-, medium- or large-boned. Determine frame size with a wrist measurement: Wrap a tape measure around the wrist one time and take note of the number. Use the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health frame-measure tables (see Resources) to determine your frame size. Enter your height, weight and frame size into a chart to get a healthy weight based on BMI charts.
Access additional charts that include age of adults. While these charts do include factors other than BMI, there is no chart that includes height, weight, body frame and age all in one chart. Use the ideal weight that you found on the height and body frame charts as a comparison with the numbers that you found on the age, height and weight charts. These numbers should be in the same general range, but keep in mind that every person is unique and weight charts of any type are never a substitute for advice from medical professionals.
Tips and warnings
- While height and BMI charts can be a good starting point in determining your proper weight, each person is unique. Consult with your physician about the proper healthy weight for you.
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- Centers For Disease Control and Prevention: Height Weight Charts (20 and under)
- Centers For Disease Control and Prevention: Adult BMI Measurement
- Centers For Disease Control and Prevention: BMI For Children and Teens
- Health Central: Ideal Body Weight Calculator
- Nutribase.com: Weight Charts (Metropolitan Life Insurance)
- MediLine Plus: Determine Your Frame Size