Measuring your weight doesn’t have to be scary. The number on the scale does not define you, but it is helpful in understanding your weight and in discussing it with your healthcare provider.
Measuring your weight on a routine basis is also helpful as you can monitor for changes and discuss them with your healthcare provider.
In this section, you will learn more about the two most commonly used methods of weight measurement:
- Measuring your waist circumference
- Calculating your body mass index (BMI)
Tools to Measure Your Weight
There are two main ways of measuring weight. They are:
- Calculating your body mass index (BMI).
- Measuring your waist circumference.
Both methods of weight measurement are a good indicator of your weight so feel free to use either one, or try both! Whether you use BMI or waist circumference, measuring your weight should not be intimidating. Remember, you’re doing this because you care about yourself, your family and most importantly – your HEALTH.
Which Weight Measurement Method is Right for You?
- Truthfully, there is no right or wrong method.
- One is not better than the other. Both BMI and waist circumference are simply tools to help you gauge your weight and health.
- Go ahead and try both of them, and write down the results to discuss them with your healthcare provider.
Measuring your waist circumference is a simple way to have insight into your health. The measurement can be used to help determine healthy weight, overweight, obesity and severe obesity.
Finding Your Waist Circumference
To find your waist circumference, place a tape measure around the area above your hip bone and below your rib cage and read the number where the tape meets itself.
What the Number Means
There is not a classification chart or various ranges used with this method to determine obesity. Only the simple thresholds for men and women noted below.
- For females, a waist circumference of 35 inches or greater is considered unhealthy.
- For males, a waist circumference of 40 inches or greater is considered unhealthy.
Waist Circumference Disease Risk Chart
The chart below details the increased risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardio vascular disease associated with excess weight.
|Weight Category||Men < 102cm (<40in.)
Women <88cm (<35in.)
|Men >102cm (>40in.)
Women >88cm (>35in.)
|Obesity w/ BMI > 34.9||Very High||Very High|
|Severe Obesity||Extremely High||Extremely High|
If you calculated your waist circumference and it was higher than the above recommended value, you should speak with a healthcare provider about your weight. Don’t worry though, this Campaign will help you prepare for that first appointment. All you need to do is take the Your Weight Matters Challenge!
Your BMI is a measure of your weight related to height. To calculate you BMI you need to know your height (in inches) and your weight (in pounds).
If you have a scale in your home it is best to measure your weight before you put it in the calculator. If you do not know your exact weight, you will want to recalculate your BMI once you have that number.
Knowing your BMI will help you know your weight category. There are five weight categories. Knowing which category you are is based on your body mass index (BMI) and will be important when you meet with your healthcare provider.
Ready to calculate your BMI? Perfect, simply enter your height in inches and your weight in the below boxes: