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What is a Healthy Weight?

Image of girl playing with hula hoopWe all have our own ideas about what a healthy weight is. Some people think it is being "model thin," while others think how they feel is more important than the size of their waistline. To help you sort through the confusion, health experts have developed standards that define normal weight, overweight, and obesity in adults.

Maintaining a healthy weight is important to maintaining your health. As people gain weight, their risks for high blood pressure, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, and heart disease all increase.

In adults, preventing weight gain as you age is critical, regardless of your current weight. People who are overweight or obese may need to lose weight to improve their health. NHLBI's Aim for a Healthy Weight Web site contains information to help adults make smart food choices and increase physical activity to help them lose weight if they are overweight or obese.

Learn about BMI and a healthy weight

The ratio of weight to height is known as the body mass index (BMI). Calculating your BMI can help you determine if you are at a healthy weight. Learn how to assess your child's weight also.


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