The most commonly used indicator of a healthy weight is the Body Mass Index or BMI.
To calculate your BMI divide your weight (in kg) by the your height (in m) squared
Weight is defined according to BMI ranges as below:
18.5 : Underweight
18.5 – 24.9: Healthy weight
30-34.9: Obesity 1
35.39.9: Obesity 2
>40: Obesity 3
Although BMI can be used as a guideline to whether someone is at increased risk of health problems because of their weight, it is not a perfect indicator. For example people who are very muscular tend to have a lower health risk for a given BMI as do older adults. People of Asian origin tend to have a higher health risk for a given BMI than people of Caucasian origin.
Carrying excess fat in the abdominal area is particularly associated with a higher risk of developing health problems such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes so waist measurement is a useful additional check as to whether someone’s health would benefit if they lose weight.
To measure your waist stand up straight and breathe out then pass a tape measure around your torso mid – way between your ribs and your hips bones (usually around the level of your belly button).
A healthy measurement is < 80 centimetres for (non-pregnant) women and <94 centimetres for men.
If your measurement exceeds these figures then you may well benefit from losing weight even if your BMI is in the healthy range.