Many of us prefer using numbers, such as a body weight chart to help guide us with our weight loss journey.
Charts can be a helpful motivator and a handy weight loss tool, but this information is only a guide line.
We are all individually unique with different body frames, bone structures, genetics, different ethnic backgrounds, not to mention are age.
After all, how does the community define ideal body weight (IBW) anyway?
The Ideal Body Weight Chart was actually introduced by a life insurance company to calculate the best body weight that would provide the lowest health risks to achieve maximum life expectancy.
It was an easy way to determine whether an individual was a low or high insurance risk depending if they were overweight or suffering with obesity.
The most widely used guides were provided by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and have been used for several decades.
This company first published tables showing what they believed to be a person’s desired weight. The charts were released for educational purposes and the numbers were originally based on a study conducted in the early 1940’s.
Many body weight charts have been criticized for accuracy due to missing considerations during the study. For instance the original studies did not take into consideration things such as smoking or age.
Since then more studies have been done with more considerations included.
Want to know your IBW?
Here are two charts included for your review.
Please remember these charts are a guide only and you should consult your physician or health care professional to obtain your own, more accurate IBW.
Age is also a very important factor to take into consideration when using IBW calculations.
Why is age so important?
We often hope that we will be the same weight in our forties as we were in our twenties, but carrying a few extra pounds as we get older does have some benefits.
A little extra weight makes our bones work harder and stay stronger when we are walking, working or doing any kind of daily exercise or physical activity.
This may be especially important for women who have gone through menopause.
Menopause is characterized by the loss of estrogen production and numerous studies have linked insufficient estrogen levels to osteoporosis, a condition which can cause brittle and weak bones.
Most people can achieve their ideal body weight naturally (without dieting) if they eat healthy and enjoy an active lifestyle.
Wishing you health and happiness
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