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Calculating Ideal Weight

We are a society which is rightly obsessed with body weight, more particularly excess body fat. For each of us there is a recommended weight or weight range linked to positive health consequences. A very simple measure of Body Weight can be used to monitor changes in weight and whether we are reaching our body weight goals. However just measuring weight does not tell the whole story - there are other factors to consider which are not reflected in the simple weight measurement.

ideal weight measurewhat's your ideal weight?

Height and the amount of muscle mass should also be considered in determining ideal body weight. Weight should be measured relative to height as taller people are expected to weight more due to a larger skeletal frame and associated muscle, larger organs and body tissues. This leads to Weight for Height Tables in which you can determine your ideal weight based on a range of heights. There is an imperial and metric version.

The amount of muscle mass should also be considered. The height-weight tables are based on a Body Mass Index (BMI) score of between 20 and 25. BMI is calculated by taking a person's weight and dividing by their height squared. This formula does not take into account diffferences in muscle mass, and therefore does not accurately apply to elderly populations or very muscular athletes such as weight lifters. This is also the limitation with the other calculations for determining ideal weight: the Broca Index and the Devine Formula, which are other simple measures of ideal weight that use only the height measurement. The Peterson Equation attempts to account for some of these limitations. There is also the Ponderal Index and Adiposity Index which also determine ideal bodyweight.

Ideal Body Weight Equations

Broca, 1871

Hamwi, 1964

Devine, 1974

Robinson et al., 1983

Miller et al., 1983

Hammond, 2000

Peterson et al., 2016


Example Calculations

The examples below show how the different formulas can give different results of ideal weight, though in this case the estimations for females were in closer agreement.

A man 182 cm tall will have the following ideal weight

A woman 167cm tall will have the following ideal weight

Available Measures and Calculations

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