Measure Your Weight

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.

Waist Circumference

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.)
Underweight —— ——
Healthy Weight —— ——
Overweight Increased High
Obesity High Very High
Obesity w/ BMI > 34.9 Very High Very High
Severe Obesity Extremely High Extremely High

 

What next?

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!


Body Mass Index (BMI)

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:

BMI CALCULATOR

Ready to calculate your BMI? Perfect, simply enter your height in inches and your weight in the below boxes.

Your BMI Result:
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No matter what your weight category, it can be a helpful number to have when discussing your weight with your healthcare provider.

Underweight
If your BMI puts you in the “underweight” category, it is important that you share this information with a healthcare professional. You want to make sure that your body is getting the daily requirements of nutrients and vitamins to function at a healthy status.

Healthy Weight
Having a “healthy” BMI score means that your body weight based on mass and height is what the Center for Disease Control (CDC) considers healthy. At this category, you may not be experiencing any weight-related health conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, but it is important to maintain your weight and routinely check your BMI.

Overweight
Having a BMI of 25-29.9 puts you in the “overweight” weight category. In this category, you may notice physical changes in your body such as clothes feeling tighter or even feeling more tired after a day of work. Weight-related health conditions such as diabetes could also be a threat at this point. It is important for you to talk to a healthcare professional about your weight.

Affected by Obesity
If your BMI is 30 to 39.9, it means you are suffering from obesity. Obesity increases your risk of developing related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, etc. It is very important for you to see a healthcare professional and discuss your weight.

Affected by Severe Obesity
If your BMI is greater than 40 or you are more than 100 pounds overweight, you are affected by severe obesity. You are not alone, more than 9 million Americans are affected by severe obesity. Being affected by severe obesity puts you at a very high risk of weight-related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, some cancers, stroke, heart disease and more. Please consult with a healthcare professional as soon as possible to discuss your weight and health.

What Next?
If you calculated your BMI and it is above the healthy weight category, we encourage you to take the Your Weight Matters Campaign Challenge. Talking to a doctor about your weight isn't easy, but the Campaign is here to help you prepare for this important conversation. All you need to do is take the Your Weight Matters Campaign Challenge!