Weight Management - Are You at a Healthy Weight?
What's your waist size? continued...
If you are Asian, the goal for a healthy waist is:
- Less than
36 in. (91 cm) for
- Less than
32 in. (81 cm) for
Waist size: What to do
If you are ...
In the underweight
range on the BMI chart:
See your doctor to
find out if you have a medical problem that is causing your low
recommended BMI range and your waist size is within the recommendations:
Your weight is not
a problem for your health.
At or above the recommended BMI
range and your waist size is higher than recommended:
See your doctor to find out if
you have health problems that might be related to your weight.
You may need to change your eating habits and get more active.
In the overweight category on
the BMI chart but your waist size is within the recommendations:
Your weight may be right for
you. But you need to see your doctor to find out if you have health problems
that might be related to your weight.
In the obese category on the
BMI chart, no matter what your waist measurement is:
You may need to lose weight to
be healthier, as well as change your eating and activity habits.
Your doctor may want to take another measurement,
called a waist-to-hip ratio. This measurement is a
comparison of your waist size to your hip size. A higher waist-to-hip ratio
means that you are
more "apple-shaped" than "pear-shaped" and therefore at a higher risk for
Body fat testing is sometimes used to
help find out if a person has a healthy percentage of body fat.
Do you have other health problems?
If you are in
the overweight or obese category and your waist size is too high, it's
important to talk to your doctor about weight-related health problems you may
- High cholesterol.
- Heart disease.
- High blood pressure.
- Sleep apnea.
- Type 2 diabetes.
- Metabolic syndrome.
- Some forms of cancer, such as colon, breast, and prostate
If you have two or more of these health problems, your
doctor may advise you to make some lifestyle changes and/or lose weight. He or
she may also refer you to a
dietitian, an expert in healthy eating.
- Interactive Tool: Is Your Weight Affecting Your Health Risks?
Are you unhappy with your weight?
If you're at a
healthy weight but are still unhappy with your weight, you're not alone. Lots
of people are.
It can be hard to be satisfied with how you look
when TV and magazines show unrealistic images of what it means to be thin. Here
are some things to think about:
- There is no "ideal" body shape or body size.
We let society tell us what "ideal" means. But the way a skinny model looks in
a magazine or TV ad is not normal or "ideal."
- Do you feel good and
have plenty of energy? Can you do the activities you want to do? That's what
healthy living is all about, no matter what your weight is.
to lose weight when you don't have to can actually be bad for you. Most people
who diet end up gaining back the pounds they lost—and more.