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Maintain a Healthy Weight

More than half of all Tasmanian adults are overweight or obese. If you have too much body fat, especially if a lot of it is in your waist area, you are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other chronic health conditions such as heart disease and some cancers.

Being a healthy weight will reduce your risk of chronic health conditions and help you to feel more energetic. A healthy weight can be achieved through healthy eating and being physically active.

How do I know if I’m a healthy weight? 

There are a few ways to tell if you are a healthy weight. These include measuring your waistline and Body Mass Index (BMI).

Waistline 

A growing waistline is a sign that you could be at increased risk of serious chronic health conditions. By measuring your waist you are simply checking whether you are at risk of developing chronic health conditions. This is because carrying too much fat around your waist (around your internal organs) is more dangerous to your health than carrying fat elsewhere on the body.

Measuring your waist is simple to do, just follow the points below:

  • Measure halfway between your lowest rib and the top of your hip bone, roughly in line with your belly button.
  • Place a measuring tape directly against your skin and breathe out normally.
  • Check your measurement

Males

If your waist measurement is over 94cm your risk of developing a chronic disease is increased. The risk is greatly increased if measurements are more than 102cm.

Females

If your waist is more than 80cm your risk of developing a chronic disease is increased. The risk is greatly increased if measurements are more than 88cm.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI is a body fat estimate based on a comparison of your height to your weight. Your BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in metres squared.

To work out your BMI visit this online calculator:

How to interpret the values     

  • Less than 18.5 = Underweight
  • 18.5 - 24.9 = Healthy Weight Range
  • 25.0 - 29.9 = Overweight
  • 30 or greater than 30 = Obese

It is important that this measure not be used alone in considering healthy weight as it is not the best measure of fatness or health risk. It may not be accurate for people with a higher muscle mass, older people who have lost muscle mass, and children. Increasingly experts believe that the type of fat and where it is on your body may be more important than BMI - and that your waistline is really what you should pay attention to.