Body Mass Index (BMI)

There are two sure-fire ways to assess if your weight is in the healthy range, so read on…

Aim for a healthy BMI which, in adults, is between 20 and 25

If you want to know if you’re overweight, check your waist measurements and your Body Mass Index (BMI).

To get your BMI reading, you need your height and weight measurements, and you can calculate your BMI online with any BMI calculator.

Aim for a healthy BMI which, in adults, is between 20 and 25. For Australians over the age of 74, some suggest that a BMI range of 22-26 is acceptable.

If your BMI is:

  • Under 18 – you are very underweight and possibly malnourished.
  • Under 20 – you are underweight and could afford to gain a little weight.
  • 20 to 25 – you have a healthy weight range for young and middle-aged adults.
  • 26 to 30 – you are overweight
  • Over 30 – you are obese.

Use your tape measure

To determine weight gains and losses, the two most important areas to measure are your waist and hips. This is because both your waist measurement and your waist-to-hip ratio are indicators of fat increase or decrease. They are also indicators of a potential increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Taking your body measurements will take no more than five minutes once a week, so there’s really no excuse. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Stand straight, but relaxed, in front of a mirror if possible.
  2. Wear thin clothing, or no clothing at all is preferable.
  3. Don’t try to pull your tummy in to make your waist appear smaller.
  4. Find the narrowest point of your waist and measure. Write down the measurement.
  5. Find the widest point of your hips and buttocks and measure. Write down them measurement.
  6. Now divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement to get your waist-to-hip ratio.

For weight to be considered healthy, adults should ideally have a ratio of less than 0.8.

>>> For more about BMI and weight loss, read Diet Tips for Busy Chicks by Vickie Cummings (Dymocks, $24.95)

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