Table of 'ideal' weight and height for men and women

Training 14/03/23 07:48 Migue A.

Relating height and weight can be a great tool to know if we have a healthy weight. We must forget the misnamed 'ideal weight', since it is not possible to establish valid figures for everyone. Knowing the limitations of these tables will help us to avoid drawing wrong conclusions.

The ideal weight, a basic error that we must replace

Weight is usually one of the aspects that we take into account the most when we want to evaluate our health. As a society we have internalized the concept of 'ideal weight', something that, however, science refutes as non-existent and ineffective. The famous BMI and the tables derived from it can serve as a guide, but we must be aware of its limitations so as not to draw the wrong conclusions. Let's take a step by step approach.

First and foremost: the only person with the authority to determine if the weight on the scale is correct is a doctor.

This is because our weight depends on so many factors that it is not possible to know if it is healthy by a simple calculation that only correlates two variables. That alone is not enough: age, sex or bone structure are just a few aspects that we should also take into account. Therefore, we cannot simply rely on the so-called 'ideal weight tables', which also do not take into account the particularities of each case.

Secondly, the name is a mistake in itself. The first ideal weight chart was devised by an American insurance company and used to set its prices. The business - and not scientific - origin explains why the scientific community is opposed to establishing an ideal weight.

There is no such thing as an 'ideal weight'. Two people of the same weight can have different levels of health. In fact, one person may be above the 'ideal weight' but healthier than another. For this reason most professionals prefer to use the term healthy weight.

Healthy weight actually refers to a range of weights in which the probability of having problems such as hypertension, cholesterol or arthritis, among others, is reduced.

On the other hand, it is quite common for the doctor to welcome us with a scale and a meter when we go to the doctor's office. From an early age, these are two basic elements of any routine checkup. Relating weight and height is an important indicator -even more so in our first years of life- although the importance is partly due to the fact that the person who interprets these figures is a doctor, who knows the details of our health condition and does not rely on the generalities of a table.

BMI, a good indicator not free of limitations and inaccuracies

That said, BMI (Body Mass Index) is one of the main resources for assessing nutritional health status, according to the WHO. The BMI relates weight to height. To calculate it, weight in kilograms must be divided by the square of height in meters, i.e.: kg/m2.

Thus, a person who weighs 74 kilograms and is 1.78 meters tall has a BMI of 23.35.

The good thing about this formula is that (almost) everyone can understand it and that the results it gives us are more or less reliable. The bad thing is that weight is something much more complex than this division, so other parameters must be taken into account and looked at on a case-by-case basis.

First of all, it is necessary to know how to interpret the result. The 'normal' BMI is established between 18.5 and 24.9. If it is below, it is considered too thin; if it is between 25 and 29.9, it is considered overweight; and above 30, obese.

However, BMI also has limitations. One of the most important is that it only looks at weight without discriminating between fat and muscle. Therefore, it could be the case that a person is within the 'normal' value even though he or she has a higher fat index than recommended, while someone who is very muscular could have a higher BMI even though he or she is actually healthier.

Nor is there a difference between the sexes. This is despite the fact that women tend to have more body fat compared to men when they share a BMI. In addition, it does not pay attention to other possible risks. For example, someone with a sedentary lifestyle may have a higher risk of developing certain diseases even if he or she has a good BMI.

Finally, it does not distinguish between ages. The recommendation is to use the BMI in people over 20 years of age and under 65 years of age. On the other hand, it should not be used in pregnant or lactating women.

The BMI table

For all these reasons, the BMI table is not valid for everyone and only a professional in the field will be able to tell us if we are at a healthy weight. Even so, here we present a table as a guideline.

Height Weight
150 cm 41,6 kg - 56 kg
155 cm 44,4 kg - 60 kg
160 cm 47,3 kg - 63,7 kg
165 cm 50,3 kg - 67,8 kg
170 cm 53,5 kg - 71,9 kg
175 cm 56,65 kg - 76,25 kg
180 cm 60 kg - 80 kg
185 cm 63,3 kg - 85 kg
190 cm 67 kg - 90 kg
195 cm 70,3 kg - 95 kg

The ranges are quite striking, as we can find differences of up to 20 kilos. This amplitude in the levels is what makes it necessary to take the BMI as something relative. A person's health will be better or worse depending on many factors, not just weight.

Healthy weight is the real goal

Now that the myth of the 'ideal weight' has been debunked, we must focus on a healthy weight. This will require determination and perseverance to maintain a healthy diet, active lifestyle habits, adequate rest and avoid stress, among other recommendations.



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Tabla de peso y estatura 'ideal' para hombres y mujeres