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My body weight: Too fat, too thin or just right.
Am I too fat? Or perhaps too thin? What is my ideal weight? Have you ever asked yourself these questions?

One thing is clear: too much as well as too little body weight is not good for your health and wellbeing. A calculation known as the body mass index, or BMI, will give you an indication. The BMI is defined as your body weight in kilograms divided by your height in squared meters. BMI = body weight (kg) / height (m)2

Example: An adult weighs 70 kilograms and is 1.85 metres tall.
BMI = 70 / (1.85)2 = 20.5 kg/m2
This individual's BMI is 20.5.

You can determine your BMI easily by using our BMI calculator. Ideally, your BMI should be between 18.5 and 24.9. A BMI of 25 or over indicates that the person concerned is overweight, while obesity is defined as a BMI of over 30. Someone with a BMI of 20.5 is therefore within the normal weight range (see table).

  BMI (kg/m2)

Underweight

< 18.5

Normal weight

18.5–24.9

Obese

25.0–29.9

Obesity class 1

30.0–34.9

Obesity class 2

35.0–39.9

Obesity class 3

≥ 40.00

The BMI is not informative for all population groups. For children and adolescents, normal-value curves, known as percentile curves, have been developed which also take into account age and therefore physical development. The BMI is also not suitable for high-performance athletes or people who do hard manual labour, because it does not take into account the body composition, i.e. the proportion of muscle and body fat. If you train a lot or do hard physical labour, a higher proportion of muscle in your body can result in higher BMI values that are not in fact a cause for concern.

You should also know that if you are overweight or obese with a BMI of 25 to 35, the distribution of body fat also affects your health. It is known that extra fat in the abdominal area (apple shape) goes along with a higher risk of certain diseases, for example cardiovascular diseases, than if fat occur on the hips and thighs (pear shape). Women tend to be pear-shaped, while men tend to be apple-shaped.

For a long time the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) was used, whereas today only the abdominal girth is measured. From an abdominal girth of ≥ 88 cm for women or ≥ 102 cm for men, the risk of developing diseases increases significantly.

  Risk

Abdominal girth (cm)

Women

Men

  Increased

≥ 80

≥ 94

  Significantly increased

≥ 88

≥ 102