What's Your Healthy Weight?

January 22, 2010 by Kathy Nellor

I just finished reading the SHPS Health Trend Report and it motivated me to write this blog.In this report, it stated that according to "The Philips Index: America's Health and Well-being Report 2010", Americans are not evaluating their weight accurately. Just 39 percent of Americans consider themselves overweight; in stark contrast to a report issued by the National Center for Health Statistics which finds more than two-thirds (67 percent) of American adults to be either overweight or obese. With a healthy weight being an important factor in our overall well-being, I decided to highlight one of the tools available on this website that you can use to evaluate your weight. Remember for the best determination of whether you're at a healthy weight, talk to your health care provider. Your provider will take into account both your personal health and family history.

Obesity is determined by percentage of body fat and weight, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Having a large percentage of body fat, regardless of how much you weigh, is unhealthy. You could be of normal weight or underweight and still have an unhealthy amount of body fat. Being overweight means that you have a heavy weight, but not necessarily too much body fat. For example, people who are muscular weigh more than those who are not; their extra weight comes from muscle, not body fat.

One measurement to find out whether you are at a healthy weight involves determining your body mass index, or BMI. To calculate your BMI, go to the BMI Calculator and enter in your information

  • A BMI of 18.4 or below: Underweight
  • A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9: Normal
  • A BMI of 25 to 29.9: Overweight
  • A BMI of 30 or greater: Obese

For people who are considered obese or those who are overweight and have two or more risk factors, the NHLBI guidelines recommend losing weight.

Although BMI is a reliable indicator of total body fat, it does have some limits. It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others with a muscular build. It may underestimate body fat in older adults and in others who have lost muscle mass.

Again, for the best determination of whether you're at a healthy weight, talk to your health care provider.

Tags:  Weight Management, Body Mass Index, BMI, Healthy Weight