What is a healthy weight?
There is no ideal weight that suits everybody.
Each person is different and your healthy weight is determined by factors that are unique to you. There are two measures that can be used to check if you are a healthy weight:
- Body Mass Index (BMI) - A healthy BMI is usually between the range of 18.5-25.
- The measurement of your waist. A healthy waist measurement for females is 80cm and 94cm for males. Children are measured differently.
To find out your level of risk, it is important to measure your waist circumference accurately.
- The tape measure should be placed directly on your skin, or on no more than one layer of light clothing.
- The correct place to measure your waist is horizontally halfway between your lowest rib and the top of your hipbone. This is roughly in line with your belly button.
- Breathe out normally and take the measure.
- Make sure the tape is snug, without squeezing the skin.
What is overweight?
Overweight is a condition of excess weight that is normally caused due to a person having an energy imbalance over a period of time. In other words by eating too much and moving to little, the body stores the leftover unused energy as fat.
What are the consequences of being overweight?
Being overweight is about much more than physical appearance.
Being overweight is a serious risk on your health. Carrying too much weight can lead to diabetes, heart disease, several types of cancers and problems with sleeping, breathing, joints and mobility.
Obesity has been on the increase in the UK for both men and women. Hospital admissions associated with obesity have also been on the increase. Although obesity in children is reducing slightly, levels are considerably higher than they were in the last generation, so it’s important we all eat well and be active.
Getting to a healthy weight and staying a healthy weight
A healthy diet and regular physical activity are key to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. If you make some simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can make lifelong changes to your health and wellbeing.
The media is often full of stories of people losing a lot of weight quickly. The evidence shows that weight loss is more likely to maintained (i.e. keeping the weight off after weight loss) if the weight loss has been gradual over a long period of time. Aim to lose weight at around 0.5kg to 1kg a week (1lb to 2lb), until you achieve a healthy BMI and/or waist measurements.
If you or a family member is concerned about their weight, there are a range of free programmes available to you in Cambridgeshire which will give you the tools and support to get you on track to becoming a healthy weight.
The Lifestyle Service in Cambridgeshire brings together a range of different programmes centred around supporting residents to lead healthier lives.
Weight Management services for adults, delivered by qualified health care professionals including nutritionists, dieticians, and physical activity specialists.
Child Weight Management group delivery opportunities, enabling a family approach to managing weight.
The service also delivers the National Child Measurement Programme in schools to inform local planning and delivery of services for children.
Services are free, so if you are keen to make a lifestyle change and want to feel better through improved health, contact us to find out more:
- Telephone: 0845 023 0370, Monday to Friday 8am-6pm. 24 hour voicemail in operation outside of these times.
- Email: [email protected]
If you are a health professional and would like more information on how to refer into the service, look out for our regular communications via email which will be coming your way.