Fifty-year-old women have the same ideal body weights as younger -- and older -- women because ideal weights are based on a woman’s height and frame size, not age. Since metabolism tends to decrease with age, it may be more difficult for 50-year-old women to maintain desirable body weights. However, doing so keeps a woman’s chronic-disease risks low -- and helps improve the way she looks and feels.
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Fifty-year-old women with medium frames have ideal body weights of 100 pounds for the first 5 feet of height -- plus 5 pounds for each inch of height over 5 feet, suggests California State University. For example, a medium-framed woman who is 5-foot-3 has an ideal body weight of 115 pounds. If you don’t know your frame size, you can use a chart that estimates it based on your wrist circumference and height.
Small or Large Frames
Women with small frame sizes have ideal body weights that are 10 percent lower than medium-framed women, and large-framed women should add 10 percent, according to California State University. Since a 50-year-old woman who is 5-foot-3 has an ideal weight of 115 pounds if she has a medium frame, her ideal body weight is 104 pounds if she has a small frame and 127 pounds if she is large-framed.
To help reduce chronic disease risks, 50-year-old women should aim to maintain body mass indexes, or BMIs, between 18.5 and 24.9, suggests the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Women can calculate BMI by multiplying their body weight in pounds by 703, dividing that number by their height in inches and dividing by their height in inches once again. BMI tables help determine if your current body weight falls within a normal BMI range. For example, the NHLBI provides BMI tables showing that women -- regardless of age -- who are 5-foot-3 have healthy BMIs of 19 to 24.9 if they weigh 107 to 140 pounds.
Just because a 50-year-old woman weighs more than her ideal body weight doesn’t necessary mean she’s overweight, obese or has a high risk for chronic diseases. Lean muscle mass weighs more than body fat. Therefore, women with large amounts of muscle -- such as weightlifters -- may weigh more than their ideal weight but have little body fat and a low disease risk. According to the American Council on Exercise, acceptable body fats for women of all ages range up to 31 percent -- and many female athletes have 14 to 20 percent body fat.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- California State University: HAMWI Formula for Ideal Body Weight
- University of Washington: Weight Management
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: Calculate Your Body Mass Index
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: Body Mass Index Table 1
- American Council on Exercise: Percent Body Fat Calculator: Skinfold Method
- MedlinePlus: Calculating Body Frame Size