Most adult women in the United States weigh more than they should. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, 64 percent of U.S. women are either overweight or obese. Your ideal body weight depends on your height and frame size. Body weight guidelines are available to help determine if your current weight is appropriate for your height.
Body Mass Index
Body mass index, or BMI, is a method commonly used to determine if your weight relative to your height is in a healthy range. To use the formula to calculate BMI, multiply your weight in pounds by 703, then divide the product by your height in inches squared. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, a healthy BMI range is 18.5 to 24.9. If you’re 20 years old or older, you can use the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute’s adult BMI calculator to easily and quickly determine your BMI.
If you’re a teenage woman younger than age 20, use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention BMI percentile calculator for children and teens to determine if your body weight is appropriate for your height. The BMI percentile calculator for children and teens calculates your BMI and your BMI-for-age percentile compared with other teens your age. Using this method, a healthy body weight for your height will fall between the 5th and 85th BMI-for-age percentiles.
The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website also provides BMI tables to help you determine if your current weight is healthy relative to your height. With use of this reference, healthy weights for adult women 5 feet tall are between 97 and 123 Ib. Healthy weights for adult women 5 feet, 5 inches and 5 feet, 10 inches are between 114 and 144 Ib. and 132 and 167 Ib., respectively.
Weight for Height
According to Medline Plus, if you're a woman, the following guideline is appropriate to help determine if your current body weight is healthy based on your height. Start with 100 Ib. for the first 5 feet of your height and add 5 Ib. for every inch over 5 feet of height. Add 10 percent to this number if you have a large frame; subtract 10 percent from this number if you have a small frame. For example, if you’re 5 feet, 3 inches, your ideal body weight is 115 Ib. for a medium frame, 126.5 Ib. for a large frame and 103.5 for a small frame.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture; Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010; 2010
- National Heart Lung and Blood Institute; Calculate Your Body Mass Index; April 2011
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: BMI Percentile Calculator for Child and Teen
- National Heart Lung and Blood Institute; Body Mass Index Table 1; April 2011
- Medline Plus; Weight Management; March 2011