What Should I Weigh?
There is far more to being healthy than the number on the scales but your weight can serve as one indicator of your health status.
One way to assess if you are a healthy weight is to calculate your body mass index (BMI). Your BMI is a calculation of your weight in comparison to your height and helps to provide a rough estimate of how much body fat you have. It may not accurately assess your level of health because it does not take into account individual factors for example an athlete who will weigh more because of having a high amount of muscle, and the fact that women naturally have a higher proportion of body fat than men. Assessing your BMI is not as accurate as a body fat percentage assessment but it is a good place to start.
A healthy BMI is defined by the World Health Organisation as being between 18.5 and 25.
A BMI of less than 18.5 is classed as underweight; an underweight person may experience health complications such as a weakened immune system, malnutrition, anaemia and osteoporosis. You may find some helpful information here about how to gain weight. Your GP or a registered dietitian could help you with a nutrition plan which may include dietary supplements to help you gain weight in a healthy way.
A BMI of over 25 is classified as overweight, this means there is a higher chance of health complications such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. A person with a BMI of 30 or above is classified as obese, 35-40 is classed as serious obesity and a BMI over 40 is morbid obesity. The higher a person’s BMI, the higher their risk of serious health complications. Quality of life will also be affected with every day tasks, such as shopping or playing with your children, becoming more difficult. Your GP or a registered dietitian can support you if you would like help with losing weight. You may also find some helpful information here.