What is a Healthy Weight?

Posted on May 4, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Recently Sue asked me very challenging questions related to an ideal health-promoting weight. The BMI charts (see those in The Simple Diet) give you a starting point. For most people, a BMI of less than 25 is a good starting goal. Persons with large frames can weigh 10% more (a BMI below 27.5) and those with small frames should shoot for 10% less (a BMI less than 22.5). Another guide for persons over 40 years old is weight in high school for girls or college-age weight for guys. Body fat estimations give the best guide to “fatness”. Many YMCA’s or gyms have the “body fat calculators” to make these estimates. As a general rule, ladies should have a body fat content of less than 33% of body weight and guys should have values of less than 26%. Other experts adjust recommended body fat content for different ages. As a general rule women should have body fat contents at age 20 of less than 30% and at age 60 of less than 37%. Likewise, men should have body fat contents at age 20 of less than 20% and at age 60 of less than 31%. These recommendations are based on information related to heart attacks and early deaths related to BMI. Precise information relating body fat content to heart attack rates and early death rates is not available. So, the BMI is a good starting guide to a health-sustaining weight and the body fat content gives more precise guidance. Best wishes. Nutdoc

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