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How can you determine a healthy body weight for yourself?

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Quick Answer

An individual can determine a healthy body weight by calculating her body mass index, or BMI. An online BMI calculator is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Full Answer

Healthy body weight is determined on the basis of BMI and waist circumference, according to WebMD. The CDC explains that BMI is a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters, while cautioning that BMI is a screening rather than diagnostic tool. Although BMI is calculated using kilograms and meters, most online calculators use a formula that converts pounds, feet and inches.

A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 means a person is within the healthy weight range for their height, states WebMD. This does not preclude the absence of other health risks, as overall health is also influenced by healthy eating and regular physical exercise. A BMI under 18.5 or over 24.9 indicates that a person is underweight or overweight, while a BMI of 30 of higher places a person in the obese category.

It is important to talk to a qualified health care professional about healthy body weight. A physician or other provider can properly interpret BMI, evaluate possible health risks, and make suggestions for improving body weight and overall health.

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