Your height and weight are more than just numbers on a scale and have a close relationship with each other. Apart from the fact that they define your physical appearance, these numbers tell a lot about your health, too.
This is where your Body Mass Index or BMI comes into play. BMI is a measure that relates weight to height and has been in use for centuries. Let’s examine, in detail, the importance of your height and weight and how these numbers can affect your health.
The Average Height And Weight Of Men And Women
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated the average height and weight for both American men and women over the age of 20 years.1
Average Height And Weight For American Men
- Height: 69.2 inches
- Weight: 195.7 pounds
Average Height And Weight For American Women
- Height: 63.7 inches
- Weight: 168.5 pounds
These values are only an average of the population in America. Studies suggest that there is a direct relationship between nutrition and height. This means that the quality, quantity, and types of food given to infants and children are connected to their growth, including height and also determines their overall health.2
The Relationship Between Height And Weight
As mentioned earlier, your BMI is a measure of body fat based both on your weight and height and is applicable to both adult men and women. According to the BMI, there are four categories: underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obesity.
In terms of BMI standard, the following four categories are defined on the basis of the following values:3
- Underweight: BMI value less than 18.5
- Healthy weight: BMI values between 18.5 and 24.9
- Overweight: BMI values between 25.0 and 29.9
- Obesity: BMI values of 30 and above
BMI may be a good tool for measuring body fat using height and weight. However, there are studies that have proved that this tool may not be an efficient one. Studies have shown that BMI tends to be higher among shorter adults, especially women.4 This is different from men who tend to have a high BMI value with height. This shows that the BMI values cannot be used as a universal measure for both men and women equally.5
Therefore, if you want to confirm whether you are overweight or underweight or even healthy weight, it is always better to consult your health provider.
Although BMI values may not be completely reliable, it is not wise to disregard either. Your weight and height may also put you at a risk of developing certain diseases.
For instance, being overweight can put you at a higher risk of developing diabetes, heart diseases, strokes, or even high blood pressure. Similarly, being underweight can cause your body to be deficient in the necessary nutrients leading to a decreased immunity. You may also be prone to diseases like anemia and osteoporosis. In fact, there are studies have been conducted to link the relationship between height, weight, and the risk of developing certain diseases.6
As adults, there is very little you can do about your height. However, there are many ways by which you can maintain your health by maintaining your weight. These include eating healthy and on time, exercising regularly, getting enough rest, managing any kind of stress, and staying positive. But, do remember your BMI is not the best way to check if you are healthy or not; consult a health professional instead and use their advice for a healthy lifestyle.
|↑1||Body Measurements. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|
|↑2||Perkins, Jessica M., S. V. Subramanian, George Davey Smith, and Emre Özaltin. “Adult height, nutrition, and population health.” Nutrition reviews 74, no. 3 (2016): 149-165.|
|↑3||US Department of Health and Human Services. “Healthy weight, overweight, and obesity among US adults.” National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2011): 03-0260.|
|↑4||Sperrin, Matthew, Alan D. Marshall, Vanessa Higgins, Andrew G. Renehan, and Iain E. Buchan. “Body mass index relates weight to height differently in women and older adults: serial cross-sectional surveys in England (1992–2011).” Journal of Public Health 38, no. 3 (2016): 607-613.|
|↑5||Diverse, Populations Collaborative Group. “Weight-height relationships and body mass index: some observations from the Diverse Populations Collaboration.” American journal of physical anthropology 128, no. 1 (2005): 220.|
|↑6||Shimizu, Yuji, Mio Nakazato, Takaharu Sekita, Koichiro Kadota, Kazuhiko Arima, Hironori Yamasaki, Hisashi Goto et al. “Relationship between adult height and body weight and risk of carotid atherosclerosis assessed in terms of carotid intima-media thickness: the Nagasaki Islands study.” Journal of physiological anthropology 32, no. 1 (2013): 19.|