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What is a Healthy Weight?

We all have our own ideas about what a healthy body weight is. Some people think a healthy weight is being "model thin." Others think how they feel is more important than the size of their waistline or the weight displayed on their bathroom scale. To help you sort through the confusion, health experts have developed standards that define normal weight, overweight, and obesity in adults.

Maintaining a healthy body weight is important to maintaining your health. As people gain weight, their risks for high blood pressure, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, and heart disease all increase.

In adults, preventing weight gain as you age is critical, regardless of your current body weight. People who are overweight or obese may need to lose weight to improve their health. NHLBI's Aim for a Healthy Weight Web site contains information to help adults achieve or maintain a healthy weight. The Aim Web site has information about how to make smart food choices and increase physical activity to help you lose weight if you are overweight or obese. This Web site can help you and your family maintain a healthy weight and prevent overweight and obesity particularly in children by making some of those same smart choices.

Learn about BMI and a healthy weight

Your body mass index or BMI is the ratio of your body weight compared to your height. Knowing your BMI help you determine if you are at a healthy weight for your height. In addition, there are BMI tables that are designed for children, so you can find out if your child is at a healthy weight for their height and age.

Learn more about BMI, how to use BMI tables, and even a BMI calculator.

Last Updated: May 8, 2012

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