People these days are more health conscious than they were in the past, maybe because there are many health issues now related to their weight. Obesity is a crisis and people are scared with it. With so much health-trends going on, people are now more health conscious than ever. Many feel they’re too fat and conversely, some believe that they’re too thin. But what really is the ideal weight? You can roughly determine your ideal weight using an ideal weight chart.

Ideal Weight Charts

What is an ideal weight chart?

With an ideal weight chart, you can readily determine whether you have the ideal weight based on your height. Many healthcare providers utilize this weight chart as a tool to monitor:

  • The growth and development of children
  • Weight loss
  • Weight management

The usual procedures that healthcare personnel do when you come in for your regular checkup are to take the measurements of your height and weight using a healthy weight chart and other tools for measurement.

They use this data to find out whether you’re in the normal weight range based on your height, gender, and age. But keep in mind that tools such as an ideal weight chart and others are only a part of your health assessment, there are other factors involved too.

Weight Charts

Other types of weight charts

Apart from an ideal weight chart, there are three main types of weight charts that health providers use to measure a patient’s height and weight:

  • Head circumference
    Healthcare providers use this for children up to three years old. The health provider measures the child’s head at its widest part. For kids, there is a direct correlation of their height and weight with their head circumference. Children with unusually small head circumferences mean that there’s a delay in their brain development. Conversely, a large circumference indicates the possibility of fluid retention in the child’s brain.
  • Body Mass Index or BMI.
    This is the most common chart that health providers use in determining weight. Most medical personnel also use this chart for patients as young as two years of age. As always, the main purpose of the chart is to find out whether a person is within the normal weight range based on his height or whether he is either overweight or underweight. According to the CDC, a person usually fall into one of these ranges:
    underweight: a person with a BMI of 18.5 or below
    healthy: a person with a BMI of 18.5 – 24.9
    overweight: a person with a BMI of 25.0 – 29.9
    obese: a person with a BMI of 30.0 or above
  • Waist circumference
    Healthcare providers use this chart in conjunction with the BMI and the basis is the concept that a larger-sized waist indicates a weight that’s higher-than-normal for the individual’s height. Based on CDC data, a healthy waistline should always be less than 35=inches for women who aren’t pregnant and less than 40 for men.

Weight Charts For Men

The meaning of the measurements

Taking the measurements of a child’s head circumference, their weight using a weight chart by age, and length are important in monitoring their healthy development. Pediatricians place these measurements on the child’s chart and compare them to the average weight and height as per the norm. We refer to these values as percentiles.

Based on a 100 range number, the 50th percentile points to the average weight and height for a specific age group. Logically, any percentile over 50 is above the average and those below 50 are below average. These percentiles are just statistic numbers. Parents should be more realistic. For instance, for an overweight child, parents should determine the factors involved in the child’s condition.

By contrast, for an underweight child, this can be different factors like undernourishment. But such a condition is very rare, at least in the US. The cause may be something else. It’s recommended that parents talk to their child’s health provider about the factors which have some bearing on the weight and height of their children.

As persons grow older and reach their full height, the focus of the BMI measurements shifts towards weight management. Adults who have above-average BMIs must lose the extra weight. This also applies to both men and women who have larger-than-normal waist measurements. If they do, there will be fewer risks of cardiovascular diseases, type-2 diabetes, and other conditions.

Health providers are particularly concerned with adults and children who have BMIs in the obese range. Obesity has become a major epidemic and has raised the chance of developing very serious medical conditions. There’s a need to change lifestyles where diet and exercise play an important role to reduce weight. For extreme cases, the health provider may recommend medications for weight loss or even bariatric surgery.

Healthy Weight Charts

Calculations used for ideal weight charts

Try applying the traditional rule when calculating ideal weight. Those based on research on population averages can be very confusing and intimidating. Aside from using a weight chart, you can calculate your ideal weight with these:

  • For women, IBW (kg) = 49kg + 1.7kg for every inch more than 5-feet.
  • For men, IBW (kg) = 50kg + 1.9kg for every inch more than 5-feet.

These formulas are mainly used for calculating drug dosages. The calculations here aren’t exact and the results tend to underestimate the “ideal” weights for those with taller heights and overestimate the “ideal” weights for those with shorter heights.

The researchers of newer studies have suggested a different formula using BMI. Here, the healthy range for BMI will be the same for both women and men and the results, therefore, should apply to both. In the study, the healthy BMI range is between 18.5 and 24.9 and the BMI of 22 will be in the middle of the range. Here are the suggested equations:

Weight (lbs) = 5.0 x BMI + (BMI) x (height” – 60)
Weight (kg) = 2.2 x BMI + (BMI x 3.5) x (height m – 1.5)

When compared with the previous equations, the biggest difference occurs in the people with taller height ranges.

Weight Charts By Age

What if you weigh less or more than your ideal weight?

Don’t get misled that an ideal weight must be your target for either health or appearance. Many people may look amazing and healthy at weight ranges. It’s also important to remember that weighing less than normal is more associated with the poor outcome of health and a higher rate of mortality for specific conditions. This goes the same for those who are far beyond the healthy range of BMI.

Some of those who checked their weight against a weight chart for men or women and discovered that they weigh above the ideal based on their height may think that they’re lean but extremely muscular. This is far from the truth. People generally weigh more since their bodies possess more fat.

Your BMI, which gets calculated from your weight and height, is typically used by health professionals to determine if you’re obese or overweight. Body compositions vary for different individuals. People who are very muscular, for instance, will have higher BMI and still maintain low body fat.

Or people who’ve lost their muscle mass and have replaced this with fat might appear normal when in fact, they have excess body fat but not enough muscle to maintain a good health outcome. This is why a healthy weight chart is only one tool used by health professionals to determine your overall health.

In the US, the CDC recommends the use of both BMI and waist measurements to determine if one indeed, has a healthy weight. Those persons with waistlines 35 and above for women who aren’t pregnant and 40 and above for men are more susceptible to conditions which are obesity-related including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Are there any drawbacks from using an ideal weight chart?

Ideal weight charts are the routine and most accessible tools used to determine potential health problems. While the number ranges can be very helpful, there’s no one-size-fits-all number for each person. According to the CDC, the BMI assessment is merely a screening tool for obesity but should not be the only test used to draw diagnoses from.

Should your home tests for obesity indicate that you’re above or below the normal range, it’s suggested that you make an appointment with your healthcare provider to ensure that there are no underlying health issues involved.

As for your children, always monitor the changes in their height and weight. Should there be any inconsistent or conspicuous measurements either above or below the normal, you may need to take your child to the pediatrician.

Can you use an ideal weight chart for teens and kids?

Finding the ideal weight for children and teenagers up to twenty may not be that simple because the formula for BMI differs from those of adults. Aside from using a weight chart by age, you can use a standard equation to determine a child or teenager’s BMI:

BMI of children = (weight / (height x height)) x 703

You can find this formula at the CDC website. The results are then compared to a percentile weight chart by age. The normal weight range should fall between the 5th and the 85the percentile. You can also check the CDC website as they have a metric weight stature table based on the child or teenager’s age.

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TemplateLab June 21st, 2019