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Healthy Weight Center

Identifying A Healthy Weight Using BMI

03/11/2009

Question:

Hi, I`m a female age 24, 169cm tall and weight 52kg. I feel that I`m fat, how do I lost weight? Please help

Answer:

One tool used by health professionals to help determine whether or not you are overweight is the body mass index (BMI). BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. People of normal weight have a BMI between 18.5-24.9 Those who are overweight have a BMI between 25-29.9 and those who are underweight have a BMI less than 18.5. Your BMI is 18.2 indicating that you are underweight. Therefore, to stay healthy, you may actually need to gain a few pounds rather than lose weight. If you "feel" you are fat, perhaps this feeling is more of an emotional or social issue rather then an actual need to lose body fat? It would be helpful to speak with your doctor and a registered dietitian (RD) to assess your individual needs. An RD can help help you determine if you are in fact "over fat" for your body type by doing a body fat analysis (this compares muscle to fat). Then, a diet can be designed specifically to help you meet your health needs and goals. Exercise recommendations may also be provided to help you firm up, rather than lose weight.

Consider: Sometimes we depend too much on what number is on the scale. This number tells us what our entire body composition weighs and includes fat, muscle, bones, water, etc. People who are very muscular may look overweight or show up as "fat" on the scale, but have very little fat on their body. It is important to have a healthy body composition (including some, but not too much, fat). Being too thin can be just as risky to your health as being too fat. Focus on maintaining a healthy weight while also feeling fit and energetic.

I hope this is helpful to you.

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Response by:

Jane   Korsberg, MS, RD, LD Jane Korsberg, MS, RD, LD
Senior Instructor of Nutrition
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University