Are you unhealthy if you are not at a healthy weight? Does having a healthy weight mean you are healthy? What does healthy weight mean, and why is it important?
What is a Healthy Weight?
A healthy weight, or normal weight, means that your Body Mass Index is within a range of weight that is not associated with an increased risk of weight-related disease and health problems.
Your Body Mass Index is determined by your height and weight. BMI does not measure body fat, but is often associated with a direct measure of body fat.
A higher BMI tends to indicate higher body fat, and a lower BMI tends to indicate lower body fat.
Adult, child and youth BMI is calculated differently.
Body mass index is a screening method, not a definitive measure of a person’s body fat, and is not meant to replace guidance from a medical professional.
The body mass index is an easy way to monitor and get an overview of your body fat, but it is not a diagnostic tool for disease risk.
It’s important to keep in mind that your BMI weight category is not an indicator of your overall health. Being in a healthy weight range doesn’t always mean you’re healthy. Being underweight or overweight doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re unhealthy either.
Why is it Important that You have a Healthy Weight?
People who are obese are at higher risk than people of normal weight for a variety of diseases and health conditions, including:
- a lower quality of life
- body pain and joints
- respiratory problems
- sleep apnea
- cardiovascular disease
- type 2 diabetes
- depression, and other mental disorders
- high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, and high triglyceride levels
Even losing a little weight — 5 to 10% of your total body weight — can have health benefits for those of you who are overweight.
Can You Maintain a Healthy Body Weight?
Regular physical activity and a balanced, nutritious diet can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Don’t go for fad diets if you fall outside a healthy weight range.
Popular diets are often difficult to stick to, may limit your nutritional intake, and rarely provide long-term results.
People trying to lose weight will naturally want to lose weight as fast as possible, but your goal should be healthy weight loss rather than rapid weight loss.
Regardless of your category — underweight, healthy weight or overweight — you should consult a health professional.
Your health care professional can help you determine your healthy weight, as well as help ensure that you are healthy.