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Weight Assessment: What Is a Healthy Weight?

November 14th, 2008
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Body MassModern mass media are overloaded with ads and images of beautiful and very slim models, that is why overwhelming majority of young ladies and women are under a great effect of “Barbie syndrome”. Every woman desires to have a physical appearance and body of the Barbie doll, which has been a worldwide standard of beauty for many decades. However, doctors and medical specialists express their concern and pay pubic attention on the fact that excessive thinness and skinniness must not be accepted as ideal beauty since it can not be associated with good health. Undoubtedly, being too slim is not less harmful to your health than being overweight, and every lady has to remember that the best solution is to have a normal healthy weight, which is somewhere in between those two extremes.

It is possible to evaluate your weight and body fatness using BMI, or Body Mass Index. In order to do this, you need to know your exact height (H, in feet or meters) and weight (W, in pounds or kg). You can use special BMI online calculators, or simply find out this index using the following formula:

BMI = W / H2

Check out the results for your particular situation:

Weight Status BMI Risks for Your Health What to do?
Underweight < 18.5 Low Work on gaining some weight
Normal Weight 18.5 – 24.9 No
Overweight 25.0 – 29.9 Low Work on reducing weight by increasing physical activities
Obese 30.0 – 40.0 High Work on reducing weight using medical help
Severely obese > 40.0 Very high Immediately reduce weight using medical or surgical approaches

If your BMI is somewhere between 18.5 and 24.9, you do not have to think about reducing weight because you are in the safest weight category. Any BMI that is higher than 30 indicates that you have a certain type of obesity. It is very dangerous to your health and you really need to follow a strict diet. If your BMI is over 40, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. Finally, if your BMI is lower than 18.5, it means that you are underweight, that is also quite risky for your health.

If your BMI is between 25 and 29.9, you have some extra weight which must be put off not by using aggressive approaches, but by developing good eating habits, changing your diet and increasing the amounts of physical exercise and activities in your daily routine. In this situation it is necessary to start reducing your weight especially if you already have some health problems. Otherwise, you will start feeling the effects of numerous negative factors, such as increased levels of cholesterol, problems with blood pressure and so on.

You should keep in mind that BMI does not work for everyone: it is not an effective approach to weight assessment for pregnant women and children below 18. The concept of BMI is based on the assumption that extra weight occurs only as a result of fat deposits in your body and it does not take into account your muscle mass. That is why it is possible to use special tables available online, which correlate BMI results in the context of your age, sex and even race.

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