There are several factors to consider when determining your ideal body weight. This includes your body mass index, your waist circumference, and any risk factors for diseases associated with obesity. Weight loss is typically recommended for people who are obese (BMI greater than or equal to 30) or those who are overweight (BMI of 25 to 29.9) and have two or more risk factors.
Many people wonder what their ideal weight should be. When asking a healthcare provider this question, they will often turn to a person's body mass index.
Body mass index (or BMI) is a tool that can be used to indirectly measure the amount of body fat in an individual. Because the BMI calculation requires only two pieces of information -- height and weight -- it is an inexpensive and easy screening method for various weight categories that may lead to health problems.
BMI is not affected by gender or body frame, unlike other weight measurement tools (the Metropolitan Life Insurance Tables, for example).
(Click BMI Calculator to determine your ideal weight.)
Although the BMI formula for adults and children is the same, the way that the results are interpreted differs. Therefore, what is considered an ideal weight also differs.
An ideal body weight for adults is when their BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. A person with a BMI over 24.9 is considered overweight, and a person with a BMI under 18.5 is considered underweight.
For children, an ideal body weight is when the BMI is between the 5th and 85th percentiles.