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What is a Healthy Body Weight?

Margo Upson
Updated May 17, 2024
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Over 60% of United States adults are considered overweight. However, although this problem is more prevalent in the Western half of the world, the East has seen their own increase in obesity statistics over the past ten years. Being overweight can lead to several serious health complications, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. It can also lead to high blood pressure and reproductive problems. For these reasons, and for many more, it is important to maintain a health body weight.

A healthy body weight is determined by height, age, body build and sex. This is used to find your ideal weight range. Your current weight, along with your height and sex, can be calculated into a number called the body mass index (BMI.) This number is set into a scale, which runs from severely underweight to super obese. A healthy range is considered to be between a BMI of 18.5 and 24.9. There are several BMI calculators online that can tell you what your BMI number is.

Being overweight is becoming an epidemic in children in the Western world. Some sources are beginning to say that today’s youth may not enjoy a life span that is as long as what their parents will enjoy. Type 2 diabetes, most common in older people, is now affecting children at an alarming rate. Other health complications, not usually seen until later adult years, are also becoming a possibility for overweight youth. It is important to help overweight children reach and maintain a healthy body weight. Promoting exercise and healthy eating can lead to a life-long habit, which is the best way to reverse this trend.

A healthy body weight is essential for good health. Not only can it decrease your risks for many serious diseases, but it is possible to enjoy a fuller life with more energy. It relieves stress on the back and joints, making movement easier. For women who are considering starting a family, it is very important to be as close to a healthy weight as possible before conceiving. Being overweight can cause serious health risks to both mom and baby during the course of a pregnancy.

The key to a healthy body weight is to only take in as many calories as you burn. If you are very active, you need more calories that someone who lives a more sedentary lifestyle. These calories should come from nutritious foods. A 2,000 daily calorie diet, the average recommendation, is only as healthy as the food actually eaten. Receiving adequate vitamins and other nutrients is also important when trying to reach or maintain a healthy body weight.

It isn’t always easy to achieve a healthy body weight, especially if there is a lot of weight that needs to be lost. Moving in the right direction always helps, though. Losing even 10% of your body weight can drastically decrease the risk for health complications. Small, achievable goals are easier to attain than large overall goals. Don’t rely on fad diets. Exercise and healthy moderate eating are the best way to shed extra weight. Talk to your doctor to discuss the best path for your own weight loss goals. A healthy body weight is essential to a long and active life.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Margo Upson
By Margo Upson
With a vast academic background that has ranged from psychology and culinary arts to criminal justice and education, Margo Upson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role as a WiseGEEK writer. Her wide-ranging interests and skill at diving into new topics make her articles informative, engaging, and valuable to readers seeking to expand their knowledge.

Discussion Comments

By anon57680 — On Dec 26, 2009

I am a girl 22 years old. my weight is 53 my height 5'3. i do exercise five times a week. can i know the ideal weight for my height? if an expert give me a food system to walk with while am exercising i would be grateful. Thanks.

By minombre — On May 11, 2009

It is easier to maintain healthy body weight when we are young, because we move more, naturally, and also have more muscle that burns calories.

After about the age of 40 though, it is important to keep exercising and eat mindfully to maintain healthy weight.

Margo Upson

Margo Upson

With a vast academic background that has ranged from psychology and culinary arts to criminal justice and education,...
Read more
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