It’s important to know whether or not you need to lose weight. Research has shown that many overweight people don’t realise that their weight has crept up beyond a healthy level. Enjoying healthy eating and being active every day are two of the most important things you can do to help manage your weight.
Visit www.enjoyhealthyeating.info to find easy to follow nutrition information for people at all stages of life, including pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for vegetarians. It also contains information for parents on what infants, children and adolescents need to help them grow and reach their full potential.
Take our tests below to see if you need to think about managing your weight to improve your health.
Take the tape test
One of the simplest ways to find out if you’re a healthy weight is to take the tape test. Storing fat around your middle increases the likelihood of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes. Measuring your waist will show if you are at higher risk. Measure half way between the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips (usually about tummy button level), and check against the table below.
|Waist measurement for||At increased risk||At high risk|
|Woman||80cm (32 inches)||88cm (35 inches)|
|Men||94cm (37 inches)||102cm (40 inches)|
|Asian men||90cm (36 inches)|
How did you score?
BMI below 20: you are underweight and would probably benefit from eating more.
BMI between 20 and 25: you are a healthy weight for your height.
BMI between 25 and 30: you are overweight – you need to make sure that your weight does not continue to rise, and to try to lose some weight if you can.
BMI over 30: you are obese and definitely need to lose weight as your health is at risk.
Please note that these scales are only for adults and do not apply to children, and remember – even if you are a healthy weight you still should be getting your 30 minutes of activity at least five days of the week.
What’s it worth?
If you’re trying to lose weight, it can be useful to have at least a rough idea of how much energy you’re using up through physical activity. Our calorie expenditure calculator can give you a guide to how many calories you use by doing specific types of activity.
Choose your activity, enter your weight and the length of time you were active to find out roughly how many calories you’ll have burned.
This calculator is intended to give an approximate guide to calorie expenditure – individual differences mean that actual expenditure may vary. It is based with permission on data from the Compendium of Physical Activities.