What's a healthy weight?
Assessing the potential health risks of your current weight
Worried about your weight and whether it's affecting your health? Find out how to assess whether you are a healthy weight so you are not putting yourself in the 'obese' category or worse.
Roughly one in five of us is heavy enough to be putting our health at risk. There are several very easy ways of assessing whether your current weight or body shape is likely to affect your health, including calculating your body weight to height ratio, your Body Mass Index (BMI) and checking your waist size.
Body weight to height ratio
Use the chart below to depict your bodyweight to height ratio and assess the potential risk to your health.
What’s your Body Mass Index (BMI)?
Your BMI is one of the main ways of finding out if your weight is putting your health at risk.
To manually calculate your BMI, divide your weight (in kilograms) by your height (in inches), then divide this outcome by your height again. It is generally thought that, for the average adult, a healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9.
Measure your waist
Carrying too much weight around your middle increases your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. We often refer to people who carry excess weight around their middle as ‘apple-shaped’ and those who carry more weight around their hips and thighs as ‘pear-shaped’. People who are more apple-shaped have greater health risks than those who are pear-shaped.
Use the table below to see if your health is at risk
|Waist measurement for||Increased risk||High risk|
|Men||94cm (37in)||102cm (40in)|
|Asian men||90cm (36in)|
|Women||80cm (32in)||88cm (35in)|
If you are at increased risk it is important to stop and think about your waist size. Changing your food intake will help, as would becoming more active.
If you are trying to lose weight it is important to be realistic and expect no more than a loss of one to two pounds (half to one kilo) a week.