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The following article was published in Your Health Magazine. Our mission is to empower people to live healthier.
Anne M. Rensberger, LICSW
How Much Should You Weigh?

How Much Should You Weigh?

How MuchShould You Weigh?

I recently read an interesting article about what one should weigh by Dr. Arthur Frank, an internationally known expert on obesity. The whole concept of what is a normal, ideal, or healthy weight can have a lot of people disagreeing.

Should you weigh within the weight ranges provided by insurance companies and some weight management programs? Or should you measure your body mass index (you can calculate your BMI at http //www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/) and see if your weight falls into the box that that deems you of being a normal weight (18.5 24.9) as opposed to underweight (less than 18.5), overweight (25-29.9), or obese (30 or greater)? Dr. Frank noted that using the BMI, life expectancy begins to decline when the BMI exceeds about 27.5.

What about measuring your waist instead of your weight? Some authorities believe that a healthy waist measurement for women is 35 inches or less and 40 inches or less for men.

Then there is the waist/hip ratio (divide the measurement of your waist by the measurement of your hips). By this measurement, a healthy ratio for women is 0.8 or lower, and for men 1.0 or lower.

So if the experts dont agree, then what? First, as you get older your bodys lean tissue, mostly muscle and bone, decreases and fat increases. Selecting an ideal weight from some event (high school graduation, marriage) in your past is probably unrealistic.

Second, are you someone who has battled weight all your life? If so, it may be quite difficult for you to lose and then maintain weight for any length of time at what you may think is an “ideal” weight.

Third, what is your health like? You may be able to weigh more than what is normally deemed a “healthy” weight.

Fourth, some people find it best to lose weight in stages, some now and more later.

So, if you are struggling with your weight, remember that weight standards can be political, arbitrary, or based on old science. Be flexible, be positive, be realistic, eat in a healthy manner, exercise regularly and worry less about a specific number or measurement and more about how you look, feel, and how your health is improving.


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