What is a healthy weight?
by Dinethri Ramasundara APD AN
Body Mass Index, commonly known as BMI is used to determine whether you are in a healthy weight range for your height. It also helps health professionals to assess your risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in Metres squared.
For an example, if a person has a height of 1.53 m and a weight of 50kg, they have a BMI of 21kg/m2, which is in the healthy weight range.
BMI = 50 kg / (1.53m) 2 = 50 / 2.34 = 21.3kg/m2
BMI ranges have been established to use internationally by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the classification for adults is as follows,
BMI can have limitations at an individual level as it can be influenced by age, gender and ethnicity. However, in general, BMI ranges still remain a useful tool to assess weight and health risk.
Waist circumference is another simple yet effective measure to assess the amount of fat you carry around your middle/ gut area. It indicates the level of internal fat deposits around our organs such as heart, kidney and liver. Higher the measurement higher your chances for heart disease and stroke.
To correctly measure your waist,
1. Find the top of your hip bone and the bottom of your ribs. Choose the midpoint.
2. Place the tape measure at the midpoint and around the waist
3. Breathe out normally
4. Check the measurement.
In some instances where your stomach area is distended due to medical conditions or during pregnancy use of waist circumference may not be ideal as it can be less accurate. Also, it is important to keep in mind that waist measurements should only be used for the adult population.
Take home message,
Maintain your weight in a BMI range between18.5- 24.99 kg/m2 and a waist measurement of <80cm for females and <94cm for males for a healthy life. Higher the BMI and waist measurements, higher the risk of chronic disease.
Image courtesy of http://drpatsebastian.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Healthy-Weight-Pic-Strip2.jpg