Heart-Healthy Living - Aim for a Healthy Weight - Aim for a Healthy Weight

A healthy weight for adults is usually when the body mass index (BMI) is between 18.5 and 24.9. To figure out your BMI, use our online BMI calculator and compare your BMI with the following table. You can also download the BMI calculator app for iPhone and Android.

BMI chart
Body mass index (BMI) is used to determine whether you are at a healthy weight. Adults are underweight if their BMI is below 18.5 and are at a healthy weight if their BMI is 18.5 to 24.9. Adults are overweight if their BMI is 25 to 29.9 and have obesity if their BMI is 30 or above.

Always talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about what BMI is right for you. Talk to your child’s doctor to determine whether your growing child has a healthy weight, because his or her BMI should be compared to growth charts specific for your child’s age and sex. Following a heart-healthy eating plan and being physically active are some ways to help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. For more information, visit Aim for a Healthy Weight.

Visit our Overweight and Obesity Health Topic for more information and watch our video below.

Health risks of overweight or obesity
- Heart-Healthy Living - Aim for a Healthy Weight

The more body fat that you have and the more you weigh, the more likely you are to develop heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, breathing problems, and certain cancers.

Measuring waist circumference
- Heart-Healthy Living - Aim for a Healthy Weight

If most of your fat is around your waist rather than at your hips, you are at a higher risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This risk may be high with a waist circumference that is more than 35 inches for women or more than 40 inches for men.

To correctly measure your waist circumference, stand and place a tape measure around your middle, just above your hipbones. Measure your waist just after you breathe out.

Benefits of maintaining a healthy weight
- Heart-Healthy Living - Aim for a Healthy Weight

If you have been diagnosed with overweight or obesity, it’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendations for losing weight. Health professionals recommend losing 5% to 10% of your initial weight over the course of about 6 months. Even before you reach this goal, a loss of just 3% to 5% of your current weight can lower triglycerides and glucose levels in your blood, as well as your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Losing more than 3% to 5% of your weight can improve blood pressure readings, lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, and increase “good” HDL cholesterol.