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What should I weigh? Smart Weight Management

This week, let's look at healthy weight ranges. Many dieters don't actually know what they should weigh and this often creates a great deal of self-imposed stress and pressure. It is important to know what is healthy for your height and to understand the risks and benefits of each weight category in order to make educated decisions about your health. So let's make it a habit to refer to science when setting our goals. Bookmark this hub and visit back any time to keep track of your weight category.

The following information is based on BMI, or Body Mass Index. What is BMI? BMI is a method of calculating how much mass you have per inch that you are tall. This is probably the most common way of estimating a person's ideal weight, although there are others. For example, body fat percentage may possibly be the most accurate way to predict certain health risks. The traditional charts, that we all probably learned in health class, also take factors such as age, gender, and frame size into account. Whichever method is used, the guidelines are fairly similar.

Weight Category by BMI and corresponding weight (in lbs)


Don't hold yourself to FAKE standards...

What would it be like if curves were in fashion?

The risks of being underweight include nutrient deficiency that can lead to conditions such as osteoporosis and anemia. Improper nutrition can also lead to a suppressed immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to viral and bacterial infections. Insufficient calories, a unit of energy, leaves you feeling drained and weak. Your hormone levels also change when underweight and may lead to pregnancy and fertility complications in women. Underweight is defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 17-18.5 and is not the same as anorexia- a serious condition where an individual's BMI is below 17.

An ideal body weight is a weight range at which there are no related health risks and numerous health and quality of life benefits. Being within this range has a positive impact on mood and self confidence. This is because of more than just an attractive body- the exercise required to maintain ideal weight releases endorphins that lift your spirits and relieve stress. Your energy levels, endurance and stamina are also better within this range. America has an obesity epidemic, and also has the greatest market for energy supplements. Not a coincidence.

Being overweight increases your risk for many health conditions. Being obese is a much greater risk than overweight, and morbid obesity means that it is likely you will die from related health problems. Health conditions associated with high Body Mass Index include heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, high cholesterol, stroke, liver and gallbladder disease, sleep apnea and respiratory problems, osteoarthritis and gynecological disorders. Overweight is defined as a BMI between 25-30, Obesity is a BMI between 30-40, and Morbid Obesity is a BMI over 40. However, there is a small grey area in defining 'overweight'. If you have a healthy body fat percentage and waist-hip ratio, you may be healthy with a BMI up to 27. This is not uncommon in well trained athletes.

If you are obese or morbidly obese and are looking at your 'ideal weight'... you should probably stop for now. Even losing 5-10% of your body weight can improve your health. After you tackle 5-10%, just look at climbing down to the next classification. You didn't gain the weight overnight and you aren't going to lose it overnight either.


Matthew Kandik (author) from Ohio on January 14, 2015:

Thank you. Very interesting... where did you get this from so that we can read the rest of the study?

Matthew Kandik (author) from Ohio on January 14, 2015:

I appreciate your insight. Like I say, this is always an open discussion and I welcome any opposing perspectives :) There are definitely risks to taking too extreme of a stance about this, in any direction. There are several different accepted theories about healthy weight ranges. However, it is pretty universally understood that being morbidly obese leads to shorter life. Everything else- overweight, obese, ideal, underweight- is contested in one way or another by somebody, somewhere. Basically, these can only serve as guidelines. Any time you look to science, or anywhere else, for proof of your opinion, whatever it may be, you will find it. An argument can be made for just about anything. The real common ground for most people is the extreme high end or low end of the weight spectrum; that's what we really know actually matters.

I also encourage you to look for my hub coming out tomorrow, where I talk, briefly, about developing orthorexia after the time that I wrote these articles. (I will try to update this with a link after it's published, but be sure to Follow me so you don't miss it!)

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Mai on December 22, 2014:

pThe presence of oibsety in COPD appears not to be a disadvantage with respect to dyspnea and weight-supported cycle exercise performance. We hypothesized that one explanation for this might be that the volume-reducing effects of oibsety convey mechanical and respiratory muscle function advantages. Twelve obese chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (OB) [forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) = 60%predicted; body mass index (BMI) = 32 b1 1 kg/m2; mean b1 SD] and 12 age-matched, normal-weight COPD (NW) (FEV1 = 59%predicted; BMI = 23 b1 2 kg/m2) subjects were compared at rest and during symptom-limited constant-work-rate exercise at 75% of their maximum. Measurements included pulmonary function tests, operating lung volumes, esophageal pressure, and gastric pressure. OB vs. NW had a reduced total lung capacity (109 vs. 124%predicted; P < 0.05) and resting end-expiratory lung volume (130 vs. 158%predicted; P < 0.05). At rest, there was no difference in respiratory muscle strength but /p

Naugty on December 18, 2014:

no increase in the pgetrncaee of the obese in the population.One other factor that's conveniently omitted in most OMFG, The Fatties Are Taking Over headlines is that we're also getting taller. At a BMI of 23, the average weight is 4 pounds per inch, and at a BMI of 25 it's 5 pounds per inch.As for the diabetes spectre, even if you accept the inflated CDC/ADA figures that include undiagnosed diabetics, only 7% of the population has any form of diabetes. Even if one were to (incorrectly) assume that every, single diabetic is obese, that would still mean that 91% of the obese do not have diabetes. The actual pgetrncaee of those with officially-diagnosed is 4.8 percent, which makes the actual risk even lower.I also love how people just assume that getting fatter means that we're less healthy. Isn't it possible that we were undernourished before?Sorry, I just get really steamed at having to continually justify my very existence.]]>

Dan from Canada on February 14, 2013:

Those "before and after celebrities" videos really show how you shouldn't believe everything you see on the media. They usually have unrealistic body images that can often be negative.

Great hub :) enjoyed reading it

Matthew Kandik (author) from Ohio on February 13, 2012:

Thanks Cammiebar! What branch of the military are you trying to join?

Kehussy- if you're in the grey area, and aren't particularly muscular already, I would focus mainly on strength training. For one thing, muscle burns more calories, so having a little more muscle mass will make it a little easier to manage your weight long term (not to mention a multitude of other benefits). Thanks for reading and commenting :)

kehussy from Houston, Texas, USA on January 20, 2012:

I think I'm in the grey area. I might do something about this before I hit the red area i.e. being obese.

Cammiebar from Upstate New York on January 20, 2012:

It took me a while to learn about BMI and weight ranges. I wasn't able to until I was looking into joining the military. But this is pretty accurate and close to what I was researching.

Great hub. It's time to let people know their realistic weight range for their own health.

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