How Much Should You Weigh?

Jun 28th 2018 Posted by MDR

Many people are continually trying to manage their weight and wondering what is their healthy weight. For years we have all seen those BMI charts that say how much you should weigh depending on your height. Many times they don't seem correct. 

The problem is BMI does not consider how the weight is distributed. This can be a problem: compare a non-exercising person with skinny arms and legs plus a big belly to an athlete with a trim waist and big muscles. They may be the same height, but the athlete can weigh more with big muscles in the upper and lower body plus higher density bones. According to a BMI chart, the pot-bellied, skinny couch potato is healthier than the athlete!

A newer method for calculating healthy weight is the waist to height ratio (WHtR). This method takes into account the distribution of weight on the body. It is known that having a lot of fat accumulated around the waist is unhealthy. In addition to the surface fat just under the skin, there is visceral fat. Visceral fat is particularly harmful since it accumulates around the organs like the kidneys, liver and heart. Fat that accumulates around the hips and bottom is less harmful to your health.

The WHtR rule is: Your waist measurement should be less the half your height.

A six foot tall man, should have a waist less than 36 inches.

A woman, 5 foot 4 inches (64 inches), should have a waist less than 32 inches.

In addition to being an easy way to gauge your healthy weight, the waist to height ratio (WHtR) has been shown in studies to be a better predictor of cardiovascular, diabetic and hypertension risks.

To measure your waist, measure at the halfway point between your lower rib and the top of your hip bone.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22106927

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29937421

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29921256

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