If you're trying to eat well and exercise to achieve a healthy weight, you might wonder what the ideal weight for a 5-foot-8-inch female is. The answer isn't as clear as you might hope.
Healthy weight for women is more of a range that can vary depending on your age, frame size and body composition. Explore the different variables and review how to determine an ideal weight for a 5-foot-8-inch female in kilograms and pounds.
A healthy weight for a 5-foot-8-inch female at age 20 can be different from that for a younger or older woman. Your ideal weight depends on many different factors.
Read more: What Really Determines How Much You Weigh?
Why Is Healthy Weight Important?
Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of chronic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. People who have overweight or obesity are at increased risk of these diseases. Interestingly, a lower weight isn't always better. People who are at a less than ideal body weight also tend to have a higher risk of death.
A study on 3.6 million adults, published in October 2018 in the Lancet, found that people at both high and low body mass index (BMI) were at higher risk of death. The researchers found the lowest risk was associated with a BMI range between 24 and 27 kg/m. BMI is one way of determining a healthy weight.
Determining a Healthy Weight
Several different methods can be used to determine an ideal weight for a 5-foot-8-inch female. One way is to use a height and weight chart, like those originally published by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.
According to this chart, the ideal weight for a woman of 5 feet, 8 inches tall ranges from 123 to 163 pounds, depending on your frame size. Because your bones can add substantial weight, someone with a larger frame should weigh more than one who has a very small frame.
The insurance company charts are best if you're over the age of 25 because when you're younger, your age also plays a role in determining your healthy weight.
To find the healthy weight for a 5-foot-8-inch female at age 20 or younger, you can use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Data Table of Weight-for-Age Charts for Females, Ages 2 to 20 Years. The downside to this chart is that doesn't account for your height or your frame size in relation to your weight, so while it provides a wide weight range for 20-year-old women, it's hard to determine a healthy weight for a woman of a specific height.
Read more: What Should I Weigh For My Age and Height?
Pounds or Kilograms
If you're in the United States, you're used to seeing scales that measure pounds, but most other parts of the world measure in kilograms.
If you're wondering what the healthy weight for a 5-foot-8-inch female is in kg or kilograms, take your weight goal in pounds and divide it by 2.2 to convert it to kilograms. This means if your goal is 150 pounds, a healthy weight in kilograms is about 68 kilograms.
Read more: Healthy Ways to Lose Weight Fast
BMI vs. Ideal Weight
Another way to assess a healthy weight is to calculate BMI. Many online BMI calculators are available to do this easily and quickly. BMI is calculated using your height, weight and age (children vs. adults). All these factors influence a healthy weight, so many health care providers prefer to use BMI rather than just your weight to assess your health risk.
A normal BMI is 18.5-24.9 kg/m2. So if you're a woman who's 5 feet, 8 inches tall, age 20 and 150 pounds (or 68 kilograms), your BMI would be 22.8 kg/m2, which is in the normal range. One limitation of the BMI is that it doesn't consider your body composition.
If your body's mass consists of more fat than muscle , it might look normal and healthy with the calculation, while if you're very muscular, your BMI might look somewhat high — even though those muscles are better for your health in the long term.
- National Institutes of Health: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "Aim for a Healthy Weight"
- The Lancet: "Association of BMI With Overall and Cause-Specific Mortality: A Population-Based Cohort Study of 3·6 Million Adults in the UK"
- Metropolitan Life Insurance Company: "1999 Metropolitan Height and Weight Tables for Men and Women"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: National Center for Health Statistics: "Table of Weight-for-Age Chart: Females, Ages 2-20 Years"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Adult Overweight and Obesity"