Subscribe to our Newsletter:
Healthy Diet Plans >>  Do you know if you are fat for your height

Body weight and height – is there a relation! If so, how much should I weigh for my height & age?

Body weight is often associated with increase in fat in your body, but in many cases it can also be due to increase in muscles mass on your body. This is true especially for bodybuilders who are on a special diet to increase the muscle mass in their body. Concerns about being overweight are genuine most of the times, but there are some phases in life where weight gain is essential like in case of women when they are pregnant. How much you should weigh really depends on numerous factors like height and age.
Although excessive weight is undesirable and often poses many health risks, it may not always be life threatening. But to avoid any health risk it would be wise to keep your weight in check as that would not only make you feel more energetic and active, but also prevent many serious diseases including various cardiovascular (heart) diseases that may creep during the later years in your life.

Are there any tools that can determine my body weight?

Three major tools or methods to determine if you are overweight or obese:
  1. Body weight compared to your height
  2. Your waist size
  3. If you have any preexisting heart related or cardiovascular ailments or are risk at for one.

Body weight and height comparison

Body Mass Index (BMI) Chart is typically used by professionals to give you a quick indication of your body weight status. BMI is calculated as follows:
  • BMI = weight in kilograms/(height in meters squared) OR
  • BMI = (weight in pounds/(height in inches squared ))x 703

For example: if your weight is 160 pounds, and your height is 68 inches (5 feet and 8 inches), then your BMI will be
BMI = ((160/68*68)) * 703 = 24.32

BMI Chart / Height Weight Chart

BMI Chart 

The following cutoff values are used to determine your health status that is whether you are underweight or above a normal desired weight.

  • 18.5 or less: Low BMI (underweight)
  • 18.5 to 24.9: Medium BMI (normal weight)
  • 25 to 29.9: High BMI (overweight)
  • 30 and above: Very-High BMI (obese)

Based on the above BMI Chart values, your weight is considered to be "Normal". But even a slight increase can put you in the category of being overweight. You can relax and maintain your body weight if you don’t have any health ailments, but its best to get yourself checked by a professional if you have any other ailments or feel tired or fatigued most of the times.

Note that a muscular person with high BMI as per BMI CHart may not always indicate that he/she is overweight, since the excess weight may be due to muscle mass rather than fat.

Waist size is also used as an effective method to determine your health status

Excess abdominal fat can not only affect your appearance, but also put you at risk for different health ailments. Iliac crest (top of upper right hip bone) is marked first to measure the waist circumference and the measuring tape is passed at this level around the abdomen.  
If your waist size is over 40 inches (men) and 35 inches (women), you may be at risk for various health ailments including cardiac problems.

What about body fat?

Since excess body fat in overweight individuals is an area of concern for most of the weight related diseases, measuring the body fat directly can be useful. Body fat can be measured by various methods like measuring the fat under the skin using skin calipers, ultrasound and infrared devices, bioelectric impedance analysis and measuring the density and size of the whole body. These methods are only reliable and accurate when performed by a well trained professional and equipment.

Cardiovascular ailments

In order to promote optimal health it is essential to lose weight even for moderately overweight individuals to decrease their risk for cardiovascular and other weight-related diseases. Consider losing weight on a serious note if you are over 40 years of age, and have high total cholesterol, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, hypertension, any coronary heart disease, sleep apnea and type-2 diabetes.  

Should I try to lose weight and excess fat as per my age?

Weight loss becomes essential for you if your BMI values as per BMI Chart and waist circumference is high to prevent a risk for developing a health ailment. If you have the following conditions, seek professional advice:

  • If you have normal health and BMI is over 30
  • If you have a risk or a history of heart disease, cholesterol problems or if you smoke and your BMI is over 25
  • If your waist size is over 40 inches (men) and 35 inches (women)

How can i shed the extra pounds and reduce my fat?

Losing weight is a totally separate and vast topic. But here are some tips that may help:

  1. Eat a healthy balanced diet comprising of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole cereals, grains and its products, pulses, beans, sprouts, and low fat or fat free dairy products.
  2. Never skip your meals or go on a strict diet like fasting for days or on any fad diets for quick weight loss.
  3. Avoid binging and starving, eat smaller meals when you feel hungry but focus on healthy foods instead of junk.
  4. Cut down on fast foods, fried foods, refined foods, processed foods, bakery foods, carbonated beverages, sodas and sweets as far as possible.
  5. Cut down on red meat, organ meats, and shell fish, instead choose de-skinned chicken, fish and egg whites.
  6. Drink more water - at least 10 glasses per day spread evenly throughout the day. To avoid binging at meal times you can drink a glass of water 20 minutes before consuming a meal.
  7. Eat your dinner at least 2 hours before you go to bed.
  8. Get a brisk walk for 30-40 minutes a day (without interruption), at least 5 days a week.

These are by no means a complete set of instructions to lose weight, but can serve as good starting points. These lifestyle changes will not only help you to decrease your weight but also help to manage your stress which is often a culprit for many ailments.

So your question about "How much should I weigh for my height & age" has a very long answer but this information should help you get a feel on what you need to do next to keep your weight in check and stay fit and healthy by maintaining your weight as per your height & age.


Body mass index

What is Body mass index?

Body mass index (BMI) refers to the way of calculating your height as well as your weight, in order to determine the content of fat in your body. A calculator analyzes the information and roughly calculates the amount of weight that comes from fat, as opposed to bones, muscles and the organs. A higher reading of the body mass index indicates a higher amount of fat in the body. Once the body mass index is calculated, you need to refer to a BMI chart, to know if your weight that comes from fat is within the normal range or not

According to a BMI chart, if your body mass index is below the reading of 20, it is an indication that the amount of fat in your body is below what it should be. A body mass index reading that is anywhere 20 and 25 indicates a normal fat content. However, if the reading is above 25 on the BMI chart, a person is considered overweight and a reading of 35 or above is regarded as obesity. The BMI chart and calculator can be easily accessed on many online resources.

In several ways, using a BMI calculator and chart is a lot like referring to a height weight chart. It can tell you what the general height, weight and weight from fat in most people should be. However, someone may have higher bone density or muscle density, than the others but is still very fit. For such people, the body mass index reading may be a bit on the higher side, because their weight will probably be more.

Hence, it is important to realize that the figures indicated by such a calculator is only a rough indication of what your actual body mass index might be. There are other factors that could influence body weight, which are never calculated by such calculators or the height weight chart. Therefore, there are quite a few health experts who believe that a BMI chart and calculator are not the best sources of reference for body and fat weight.

Several people are heard asking “how much should I weigh for my height and age?”. This is where some health experts recommend the use of a BMI chart. However, what everybody should understand is that there is no precise weight to height and age ratio that is perfectly normal. Most calculators and charts do not take musculature and fitness levels into account. For example, people who are into weight training may weigh more than those who aren’t, because muscle weight is much more than fat weight. Therefore, their body mass index ration may also be higher. However, when other things, like fitness levels, are taken into account, it can be seen that even though their weight and body mass index ratio are on the higher side, they are absolutely fit and healthy. Therefore, it is best to consult a proper fitness expert, a dietician or a doctor to determine if your weight and your body mass index are appropriate for your age and height or not.


Submitted on January 16, 2014