How to Calculate the Ideal Weight By Age & Height

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Body Mass Index (BMI) is one way to determine a healthy weight.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is one way to determine a healthy weight. (Image: scale image by jedphoto from Fotolia.com)

Your ideal weight and the calories you should consume to get there depend on numerous factors, including your height and age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses body mass index (BMI) to determine healthy weights in the American population. You can easily determine your ideal or healthy weight range based on BMI.

Assessing Ideal Body Weight Online

Open your Web browser and go to WebMD's online "BMI Plus Calculator."

Click the radio buttons or choose the appropriate item from the drop down menus regarding your gender, height and age, then click the "Next: Healthy Weight" link below. The resulting window will provide your healthy or ideal weight range.

Click the "Next: Your Calories" link if you would like to know the number of calories you can consume daily to get to the upper limit of your healthy weight range as well as learn more about healthy weight.

Assessing Ideal Body Weight With a Calculator

Measure your height to the nearest half inch by asking someone to help you or by standing straight with your back against a wall. Place a a level, ruler or other flat surface on top of your head parallel to the floor. Using the flat surface as a guide, draw a light line on the wall with a pencil and measure the distance from the floor to the mark with a tape measure.

Calculate the lower end of your ideal or healthy body weight range by multiplying .02632 by your height in inches and then multiplying the result by your height in inches again. The equation looks like .02632 X Height (inches) X Height (inches) = low ideal body weight. For example, the low end of the healthy body weight range for a person who is 5-foot-1 is found by multiplying .02632 by 61, then multiplying the result (1.60552) by 61 again or in numeric characters, .02632 X 61 X 61 = 98.

Calculate the high end of your healthy or ideal body weight range by multiplying .03542 by your height in inches, then multiplying the result by your height in inches again (.03542 X Height (inches) X Height (inches) = high idea body weight). For a person who is 5-foot-1, this equals 132 pounds (.03542 X 61 X 61)=132.

Write down the low end of your healthy or ideal body weight range and the high end of your healthy or ideal body weight range. For example, the ideal body weight range for someone 5-foot-1 is 98 to 132 pounds.

Tips & Warnings

  • The CDC doesn't factor age into the BMI for adults older than 20 and considers the healthy or ideal body weight or BMI range the same for all adults. However, as the Mayo Clinic points out, because muscle mass usually decreases and fat makes up a greater percentage of our weight as we age, our metabolism, the rate at which we burn calories, tends to decrease as we age. Therefore, though age doesn't directly affect healthy weight and BMI, it can reduce the number of calories we can eat to stay there or get there.

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