A good way to determine if your weight is healthy for your height is to calculate your body mass index (BMI). Being overweight puts strain on your heart and can lead to serious health problems, e.g. heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, varicose veins, back and knee pain, etc.
Although BMI can be used for most men and women, it does have some limitations:
• It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build.
• It may underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle.
In the elderly it is often better to have a BMI between 25 and 27, rather than under 25. If you are older than 65, for example, a slightly higher BMI may help protect you from osteoporosis.
*If you would like to check your child's BMI please use the BMI calculator and then plot the result number on the appropriate growth chart for kids above 2 years (girls, boys). If the BMI plots between 25 to 85%ile for age, your child is proportional and has a healthy weight for his height. 85-100% means the child is overweight, and above 100%ile consider obesity. Please note, that BMI is not a good marker and is not reliable for malnourished kid.
The location of fat deposits in the body is more important than weight alone. When the fat covers predominantly inner organs of abdominal area (apple body shape) the risk for diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure is increased. When most of the fat concentrated in hips area (pear body shape) the risk for obesity related diseases is very low. As long as you eat healthy and avoid excess weight gain, being an apple shaped body doesn't put you at special risk.