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HealthInfo Canterbury

Finding out if I am a healthy weight

To measure how much fat there is on your body you would need to have an MRI or CT scan. This is not an option for most of us, so we use measurements such as body mass index (BMI), which can give a good estimate of how much fat is on our bodies.

If you are concerned about your weight, make an appointment to see your doctor or practice nurse. They will measure your weight and height and calculate your BMI. This gives an idea of whether you are underweight, overweight or an ideal weight for your height.

You can also do this yourself using an on-line BMI calculator, or you can divide your weight (in kilograms) by the square of your height (in metres).

This table shows how to interpret your BMI.

BMI

Classes as

Health risk

Less than 18.5

Underweight

Some health risk

18.5 to 24.9

Ideal

Normal

25 to 29.9

Overweight

Moderate health risk

30 to 39.9

Obese

High health risk

40 and over

Very obese

Very high health risk

Waist circumference

Your doctor may measure your waist circumference – by using a tape measure around your waist (usually around your belly button). This measurement is useful to see how much fat you have around your waist.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Updated December 2014

Sources

See also:

How to lose weight

How to gain weight

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