How Much Should I Weigh For My Height?
Different people have different heights. The thing with most people is that even though some people weigh more than others, they “get away with it” because they are taller compared to someone who is vertically challenged.
For example, you and your friend both weigh 180 pounds, but you stand at 5 feet 2 inches, while your friend B stands 5 feet 6 inches. A mere 4 inch height difference can already spell a great difference in terms of aesthetics.
Granted that you both weigh the same at 180 lbs and are therefore both overweight, you would look pudgier and chubbier while your friend would look more proportionate and just “big boned”, all because of a 4 inch height difference.
Simply said, extra weight is not that obvious with people who have been blessed with sufficient height.
But then, this does not mean that tall people can just binge away and gain horizontally as they are gifted vertically. The situation above just reinforces a point: that people should consider their height when it comes to figuring out how much they should weigh.
This will definitely be more of a, challenge for shorter people, as making sure that they look aesthetically proportional and maintain a healthy weight for their height is more of a pressing matter.
The rules also apply for tall people; it is just that their additional inches give them a bit of a leeway for more pounds. Shorter people do not have this “luxury”.
Moreover, aside from height, other factors should come into play when determining a person”s ideal weight. The other factors are:
- Bone density
- Ratio of fat and muscle
But perhaps the most popular calculation of people”s ideal weight is the BMI, or the Body Mass Index, which takes height as the main factor in determining one”s ideal weight.
Of course, as there are other factors mentioned earlier, critics of the BMI claim that it is faulty because it does not consider muscle mass, which will be a disadvantage for athletes and bodybuilders.
More on the BMI
As mentioned earlier, the BMI is a person”s weight in relation to his or her height. In metric units, the BMI is computed by dividing one”s weight in kilograms by the square of his or her height in meters.
For example, if a man weighs 80 kilograms and his height is 1.8 meters, his BMI is 24.7 (meaning 80 divided by [1.8 multiplied by itself]).
For people using imperial units, e.g. people in the US, the BMI is multiplied by 703 divided by the square of the height in inches. So for a man weighing 176.4 pounds and standing 70.9 inches (the same stats we had earlier, converted to imperial units, his BMI is still 24.7 (176.4 multiplied by 703 divided by 70.9 multiplied by itself).
Health and fitness authorities around the world are mostly in agreement on the following:
- People with a BMI that lesser than 18.5 are underweight,
- People with BMIs between 18.5 and 25 have ideal weight,
- People with BMIs between 25 and 30 are overweight,
- People with BMIs over 30 are obese
BMI is a popular measurement, but as indicated in the formula, only considers a person”s height. The obvious signs of obesity, like a person having a wide waist or hips, are disregarded.
This means that an athlete, like a gymnast or swimmer who has compact muscle and close to 0 percent body fat, may have more or less the same BMI as a couch potato who has the same height but has a protruding belly. Moreover, a person with osteoporosis would have a lower BMI as he or she would weigh lighter because of low bone density.
Therefore, authorities say that while the BMI is a good ballpark figure to serve as indication of an ideal weight vis-a-vis someone”s height, it should not be taken as an authoritative indicator of how healthy a person is.
The WHR: a Good Alternative?
Aside from knowing how much a person should weigh for his or her height, he or she should also consider waist-hip ratio (WHR), which is the proportion of one”s waist to that of his or her hips.
The WHR would be a good indicator of general health, considering one”s hip and waist measurements, which in turn are also indicators of ideal weight.
This can be done by measuring the smallest circumference of the waist found a bit above the navel and divide that by the circumference of the widest part of the hip.
For example, a woman with a 28-inch waistline and 36-inch hips would have a 0.77 WHR (28 divided by 36). A mean with a 34 waist and 36 hips would have a 0.94 WHR.
For men, a WHR of less than 0.9 is ideal while the ideal figure for women is less than 0.8.
A WHR of 1 or over for men and 0.9 and over for women would make that person be at high risk of having problems in his or her cardiovascular system, distribution of body fat type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
The height of a person may not be regarded in the WHR, but having a proportionate torso is also regarded as aesthetically pleasing.