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While people usually want to lose weight, there are many underweight people who look for answers on gaining weight.

Weight is a measure used to describe human mass. It is expressed in units of mass, such as kilograms (kg) or weight, such as pounds (lb). In Britain, a stone (14 lb = 6.35 kg) is still common for this purpose as well.

The average weight

The average weight for male adults in the United States is about 76 to 83 kg (168 to 183 lb). The average weight for male teenagers in the United States is about 45 to 64 kg (99 to 141 lb). For female adults the average weight is 54 to 64 kg (120 to 140 lb). For female teenagers the average weight is 45 to 57 kg (100 to 126 lb). Weight is of course related to height, so people taller than average tend to be heavier as well. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a statistical measure of the weight of a person scaled according to height.

Human basal metabolism

A person's basal metabolism represents the minimum energy expended to keep a resting, awake person alive. The energy used in basal metabolism depends primarily on the lean body mass. Other factors that influence the basal metabolism include:

  • the amount of body surface (the greater the area, the greater the heat loss); 
  • gender (males average higher energy rates because of the greater lean body mass);
  • body temperature;
  • thyroid hormone levels (higher levels increase metabolic rate);
  • aspects of nervous system activity;
  • age (metabolic rate drops as we age);
  • nutritional state (eating less slows metabolic rate);
  • pregnancy (metabolic rate increases);
  • caffeine and tobacco use (metabolic rate increases).

Body mass index

There is no such thing as an ideal body weight - there is only a healthy weight range. To determine this healthy weight range, doctors often use a height-weight system called Body Mass Index. Body Mass Index is a measure which takes into account a person’s weight and height to calculate weight status in adults.
It is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters.

The metric formula is:

  • Your Weight (in kilos) divided by Your Height (in Meters) squared

Results:

  • If your BMI is in the range 19 to 24.9 you have a healthy weight.
  • If your BMI is in the range 25 to 29.9 you are considered to be overweight and may incur moderate health risks. For example, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure are all linked to being overweight.
  • If your BMI is 30+ you are considered to be obese. Obesity is associated with the increased risk of cancer, heart disease and other health problems. A BMI of 30 and over increases the risk of death from any cause by 50 to 150 percent, according to some estimates.
  • If your BMI is 35+ and you have a waist size of over 40 inches (men) and 35 inches (women) you are considered to be at especially high risk of health problems.
  • If your BMI is 40+ you are considered to be seriously obese and at a very serious risk of health problems.
     

Normal Weights For Men Of Ages 25 And Over

Height (with shoes on)

Build

Feet

Inches

Small

Medium

Large

Weight in pounds according to build (in ordinary clothes)

5

2

116-125

124-133

131-142

3

119-128

127-136

133-144

4

122-132

130-140

137-149

5

126-136

134-144

141-153

6

129-139

137-147

145-157

7

133-143

141-151

149-162

8

136-147

145-156

153-166

9

140-151

149-160

157-170

10

144-155

153-164

161-175

11

148-159

157-168

165-180

6

0

152-164

161-173

169-185

1

157-169

166-178

174-190

2

163-175

171-184

179-196

3

168-180

176-189

184-202

Normal Weights For Women Of Ages 25 And Over

Height (with shoes on)

Build

Feet

Inches

Small

Medium

Large

Weight in pounds according to build (in ordinary clothes)

4

11

104-111

110-118

117-127

5

0

105-113

112-120

119-129

1

107-115

114-122

121-131

2

110-118

117-125

124-135

3

113-121

120-128

127-138

4

116-125

124-132

131-142

5

119-128

127-135

133-145

6

123-132

130-140

138-150

7

126-136

134-144

142-154

8

129-139

137-147

145-158

9

133-143

141-151

149-162

10

136-147

145-155

152-166

11

139-150

148-158

155-169

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