Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How can I determine my proper weight?"
Do I just record my BMI and see if that's average? Is there something else I can do?
It's great that you want to figure out what a healthy weight is for you. BMI stands for body mass index, and is a ratio of your weight (in kilograms) divided by your height, squared (measured in meters, squared). Various BMI calculators are available online, if you want to find out what your current BMI is. There are four classifications for BMI: 1) BMI less than 18.5 is "underweight" 2) BMI 18.6 to 24.9 is "normal" 3) BMI 25.0 to 29.9 is "overweight" 4) BMI greater than 30 is "obese." However, these classifications are not entirely perfect because BMI does not account for the percentage of weight that is fat versus muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat, so for a given height, a very muscular person could have a higher BMI than a person with less muscle and more fat. Doctors use these BMI classifications to counsel patients about their risk for heart disease, stroke, some types of cancer, and other medical problems. You should speak with your primary care doctor about ways to achieve a healthy BMI. Generally, exercising and reducing your portion size can help you to move from a higher to a lower BMI.
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