What is our ideal weight? BY MD. THORDIS BERGER
The subject of Ideal Body Weight remains a hot topic issue because it is directly related to aspects of human health.
Along with the increased risk of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, being overweight also increases the risk of getting several cancers.
To determine if a person has a healthy weight or not, usually the Body Mass index (BMI) is used. It is a calculation that divides people into one of four categories:
· People who are underweight, with a score of less than 18.5;
· normal weight, with a score between 18.5 and 24.9;
· overweight, with a score of 25 to 25.9; and
· obese, with a score of 30 or greater.
Can we calculate our ideal weight?
Basing this calculation on height and weight alone, however, doesn’t take into account a person’s bone, muscle, or fat proportions. For example, a person with exceptional muscle tone and low fat (like an Athlete, Bodybuilder, etc.) is more likely to have a higher BMI compared to someone with higher fat and lower muscle tone — this happens because muscle is four times as dense as fat tissue.
The impact of age is either not considered in the BMI. With aging, there is a change in the ratio between body fat and lean mass. The percentage of body fat increases but the lean mass decreases. An assessment only based on weight and height will note be able to verify this difference in proportions.
Using complementary modes of measurement like waist circumference the may give a more accurate and complete indication of health risk. The abdominal perimeter is a health indicator that, although not perfect, is nevertheless indicative of the early appearance of some disease situations, such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity and hypercholesterolemia, which are associated with increased abdominal perimeter. The ideal is to have a perimeter of less than 94cm in men and 80cm in women. If the values are greater than 102cm in man and 88cm in woman then the risk of early onset of a cardiovascular disease is very high.
Just remember that the very concept of "ideal weight" must be taken into account! At the outset, the ideal weight should be one in which the person is healthy. The important thing will be to define what your healthy weight is. Thus, aside from BMI and waist circumference, the following risk factors should also be considered when determining your ideal body weight:
· cigarette smoking
· family history of premature heart disease
· high blood sugar
· high LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and low HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol)
· high triglycerides
· physical inactivity
In conclusion: a healthy weight is individual. It cannot be determined without taking the individual into consideration. It is affected by more than diet and exercise and should be an outcome, not a goal!