To achieve a healthy body mass index or BMI, a 5-foot 5-inch woman should weigh 114 to 149 pounds. Most physicians recommend a BMI ranging from 18.5 to 24.9 while conceding that the BMI is a less than perfect tool for assessing overall health.
Scale weight cannot measure the specific proportion of bone, muscle and fat in the human body. Very muscular people may have a higher than recommended BMI and be very healthy. Conversely, a person who avoids exercise and eats poorly may have a BMI in the healthy range. Given that BMI cannot adequately assess the amount of fat in an individual, physicians often use waist size as another indicator of healthy weight.