If You're Asking If You Weigh Too Much - You Probably Do

Everyone seems to think about their weight. Your weight affects your health and mobility, including your risk of needing long-term health care in the future.

Recommend This Page
If You're Asking If You Weigh Too Much - You Probably Do
7 Min Read July 9th, 2021

A Gallup Poll conducted in 2020 shows that 51% of Americans polled report their weight to be 'ideal' with 41% self-reporting they are over-weight.

Just over half (55%) of people say they wish to lose weight, with 38% reporting they would like to maintain their current weight, with 7% who wish to gain weight. More women (59%) than men (51%) indicated that they wanted to lose weight.

What is an ideal weight? How do you determine exactly what your weight should be? Does that change as you get older? These questions are important since weight affects overall health and health issues as we get older. 

Having excess weight affects a person's risk of multiple diseases, including obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular problems, and a higher risk for long-term health care. 

Joint problems and lack of mobility can also be adversely affected by weight. Being underweight can also be a problem and can lead to osteoporosis. Bone loss and fractures lead to frailty and long-term health care.

What is an Ideal Weight?

Many individuals want to know the answer to this common question: how much should I weigh? However, for everyone, the ideal healthy weight does not exist because it is affected by various factors such as age, lean body fat, height, gender, body fat distribution, or body type. 

However, many researchers believe that carrying extra weight today leads to numerous health problems in the future. 

BMI is one tool for determining your ideal weight. This online BMI calculator can be helpful.

Know Your BMI?

Do you know your Body Mass Index? Many doctors will calculate and share with you your BMI just like they share blood work results like cholesterol levels.

If you don't know your BMI, you can use the BMI calculator available online. All you need is your height and weight; you can use the formula below to do it yourself:

BMI = (weight (lb) x 703) / (height (inch) x height (inch)).

Now that you know your Body Mass Index (BMI), is it worth knowing? The BMI calculator is a commonly used tool to determine whether a person's weight is healthy. It calculates a person's weight relative to their height. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) you will find the height and weight and corresponding BMI:







Severe obesity

4ft 10″

91 to 115 lbs.

119 to 138 lbs.

143 to 186 lbs.

191 to 258 lbs.

4ft 11″

94 to 119 lbs.

124 to 143 lbs.

148 to 193 lbs.

198 to 267 lbs.


97 to 123 lbs.

128 to 148 lbs.

153 to 199 lbs.

204 to 276 lbs.

5ft 1″

100 to 127 lbs.

132 to 153 lbs.

158 to 206 lbs.

211 to 285 lbs.

5ft 2″

104 to 131 lbs.

136 to 158 lbs.

164 to 213 lbs.

218 to 295 lbs.

5ft 3″

107 to 135 lbs.

141 to 163 lbs.

169 to 220 lbs.

225 to 304 lbs.

5ft 4″

110 to 140 lbs.

145 to 169 lbs.

174 to 227 lbs.

232 to 314 lbs.

5ft 5″

114 to 144 lbs.

150 to 174 lbs.

180 to 234 lbs.

240 to 324 lbs.

5ft 6″

118 to 148 lbs.

155 to 179 lbs.

186 to 241 lbs.

247 to 334 lbs.

5ft 7″

121 to 153 lbs.

159 to 185 lbs.

191 to 249 lbs.

255 to 344 lbs.

5ft 8″

125 to 158 lbs.

164 to 190 lbs.

197 to 256 lbs.

262 to 354 lbs.

5ft 9″

128 to 162 lbs.

169 to 196 lbs.

203 to 263 lbs.

270 to 365 lbs.

5ft 10″

132 to 167 lbs.

174 to 202 lbs.

209 to 271 lbs.

278 to 376 lbs.

5ft 11″

136 to 172 lbs.

179 to 208 lbs.

215 to 279 lbs.

286 to 386 lbs.


140 to 177 lbs.

184 to 213 lbs.

221 to 287 lbs.

294 to 397 lbs.

6ft 1″

144 to 182 lbs.

189 to 219 lbs.

227 to 295 lbs.

302 to 408 lbs.

6ft 2″

148 to 186 lbs.

194 to 225 lbs.

233 to 303 lbs.

311 to 420 lbs.

6ft 3″

152 to 192 lbs.

200 to 232 lbs.

240 to 311 lbs.

319 to 431 lbs.

6ft 4″

156 to 197 lbs.

205 to 238 lbs.

246 to 320 lbs.

328 to 443 lbs.


19 to 24

25 to 29

30 to 39

40 to 54


  • A BMI below 18.5 is underweight.
  • A BMI is from 18.5-24.9 is ideal.
  • BMI is from 25-29.9 is overweight.
  • BMI over 30 means obesity.

BMI Does Not Measure Belly Fat

The CDC notes that BMI does not measure a person's belly fat, and for your overall health, your belly fat is important. Too much belly fat can increase your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. 

An individual's waist size) considers the amount of belly fat and can help predict increased risk of health problems due to weight. Women, for example, whose waist measures more than 35 inches are at higher risk. Men, however, have a higher risk when their waist measures more than 40 inches. 

Losing weight will reduce the amount of belly fat and reduce your waist size, which is good for your health, heart, and lungs.

Be sure to measure your waist the right way. The CDC suggests placing a tape measure around your middle, just above your hipbones. Measure your waist just after you breathe out.

BMI is Not Perfect

Like most health indicators, Body Mass Index is not a perfect test; for example, pregnancy or high muscle mass can change the results. BMI is also generally not a good indicator of children's health or for athletes. 

Generally speaking, the higher your BMI, the higher your risk of various obesity-related diseases, including:

  • diabetes
  • liver disease
  • arthritis
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • several types of cancer (such as those of the colon, breast, and prostate)
  • sleep apnea
  • high cholesterol

According to the World Health Organization, nearly 3 million people worldwide die of overweight or obesity each year. In addition, regardless of the specific medical condition, people with a high BMI usually report that they feel better physically and mentally after losing weight.

Overemphasizing BMI?

Body Mass Index is more useful in predicting a person's future health than their current health. For example, the Harvard Health Letter says as a single measure, BMI would not be expected to identify cardiovascular health or illness; the same is true for cholesterol, blood sugar, or blood pressure as a single measure. And while cardiovascular health is important, it is not the only measure of health! 

Health professionals must consider conditions that might also be associated with an individual who has an elevated BMI. Health issues like liver disease or arthritis are two examples. According to studies noted by the Harvard Health Letter, people who are healthy and overweight or obese are more likely to develop diabetes or other adverse health consequences over time.

The current definition of BMI for overweight or obesity is mainly based on white populations. However, composition (including body fat percentage or muscle mass) may vary by race and ethnicity, so the BMI calculator can help to predict the health of whites, but it is less accurate for people of other races and ethnicities.

Maintaining A Proper Weight

National Institutes of Health note that environmental factors, family history (genetics), and metabolism all can contribute to a person's weight.

In addition, a person's behavior and habits and lead to a person being overweight or maintaining a proper weight throughout their life. 

The NIH says you can attain and maintain a healthy weight if you:

  • Follow a healthy diet, and if you are overweight or obese, reduce your daily intake by 500 calories for weight loss
  • Are physically active
  • Limit the time you spend being physically inactive

Losing Weight After Age 50

Losing weight after age 50 is much harder than when you are younger. Metabolic rates start to decline, you have less activity, and as a result, you lose muscle mass. Even if you eat the same amount as you did when you were younger, you can still gain weight!

Many experts suggest making sure you get enough protein in your diet, get more exercise, and get enough sleep. These three simple steps can be very beneficial. 

An overall healthy diet always is helpful.


As a single measure, Body Mass Index is obviously not a perfect health indicator, but it is still a helpful starting point. Knowledge helps you develop goals and ways to meet those goals. There are health conditions and diseases that are more likely to occur when you are overweight or obese. Knowing your Body Mass Index with a BMI calculator is a good first step in living a healthy and active lifestyle to maintain proper weight.

Recommend This Page

About the Author

James Schober is an accomplished writer focusing on business and health issues.

LTC News Contributor James Schober

James Schober

Contributor since July 9th, 2021

Editor's Note

The cost of long-term health care is rapidly increasing due to the growing need for assistance with daily tasks caused by medical innovation leading to longer life spans and dementia. Medicare and traditional health insurance do not cover long-term health care costs, which can significantly impact one's lifestyle and legacy.

It is essential to consider the impact of aging and long-term health care on your family and finances and plan accordingly. Long-Term Care Insurance provides an affordable solution, as relying on family caregivers can be a burden, and professional care is expensive. Planning early and getting Long-Term Care Insurance in your 50s can provide more options and lower premiums.

Be sure you include an LTC policy as part of your retirement plan. Like most people, you will want access to quality care services, hopefully in your home rather than a facility. Although quality facilities exist, especially assisted living, which can also be an option. However, quality care is expensive.

The guaranteed tax-free benefits from your LTC policy will help you maintain control while safeguarding your income and assets and reducing the stress and burdens placed on your family.

Find a Trustworthy and Capable LTC Insurance Professional

Make sure you seek out expert advice. You can get help exploring the numerous possibilities available from all the major insurance companies from an expert in Long-Term Care Insurance. Premiums vary by over 100%, and each has its own underwriting guidelines.

This knowledge is not available from a general insurance agent or financial advisor. Seek help from a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist and get accurate quotes and professional recommendations from all the top companies - Find a Long-Tern Care Specialist.

True specialists work with multiple top companies, maintain their continuing education requirements, and often hold the Certification for Long-Term Care designation (CLTC). Specialists can match your age, health, family history, and other factors with the most affordable and effective options.

Tools and Resources Available on LTC NEWS

There are a variety of tools and resources that LTC NEWS offers that can help you in your research:

  • Long-Term Care Guides  - LTC NEWS has several other guides that can help you plan or find quality care.
  • Frequently Asked Questions - Get the answers to the most often asked questions about long-term health care planning and LTC Insurance.
  • Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim - Does a loved one - like your Mom or Dad - have a Long-Term Care Insurance policy and need to file a claim to get benefits? LTC NEWS will help. If they don't have a policy, but you need help in getting a plan of care and finding caregivers, LTC NEWS can also assist.
  • Reverse Mortgages - Learn about reverse mortgages and ask questions about how they work and if you or a loved one would benefit from one.

LTC NEWS - Your Marketing and Advertising Partner

Employ LTC NEWS to promote your website and attract visitors who are interested in your goods and services. Additionally, you can boost the SEO of your website to make it easier for customers to find you when they search for your goods and services.

There are various marketing options available with LTC NEWS. Traditional advertising, sponsored content articles, strategic alliances, and more are available. 

Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - Advertise With Us | LTC News.

Contribute Content to LTC NEWS

Contributing content to LTC NEWS will help your website or blog's SEO while increasing visibility and traffic.

In the process of informing and educating you can promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. It can include links to other sites, and you can share the article link once published on your website or social media. However, it must have editorial content exclusive to LTC NEWS and not just an advertisement.

Email your story idea or article: newsroom@ltcnews.com - LTC News Contributors.

Share News

Include LTC NEWS in your press release distribution. If your group, organization, business, political committee, etc., have news to share, send it to LTC NEWS. Email - newsroom@ltcnews.com  

LTC News Trusted & Verified

Work With a Trusted Specialist

Get Accurate Long-Term Care Insurance Quotes

  • Has substantial experience in Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Strong understanding of underwriting, policy design, and claims experience
  • Represents all or most of all the leading insurance companies
man and woman sitting at desk
  • Latest

  • Oldest

  • Homecare

  • Health

  • Government

  • Care Facilities

  • Pets

  • People

  • Lifestyle

  • Insurance

No Results

Step 1 of 4

Find a Specialist

Get Started Today

Trusted & Verified Specialists

Work with a trusted Long-Term Care Insurance Specialist Today

  • Has substantial experience in Long-Term Care Insurance
  • A strong understanding of underwriting, policy design, and claims experience
  • Represents all or most of all the leading insurance companies

LTC News Trusted & Verified

Compare Insurers