How much should I weigh for my height? This is a popular question as body weight has enormous health implications. Below is an ideal weight calculator that can help answer this question. Simply enter your gender and height and press “Calculate”. After the ideal weight calculator is an explanation on how it works.
Please note that if you are particularly tall or short, then only the last result (BBMI) will be relevant for you. Other limitations for people of all heights include, no regard for ethnicity, age, nor fat-muscle ratio. Really, this ideal weight calculator is just for an approximation.
Please also note that this calculator is for adults. For children, see these growth charts.
The methods for the above results fall into three categories. These are described below.
Ideal Weight Calculator Formulas
Ideal body weight formulas have been developed for a variety of purposes. These range from determining drug dosages to insurance premiums to healthiness of one’s body weight. Below are some examples of formulas that have been developed over the years. Note how weight increases linearly with height. This is an incorrect assumption as people get wider as they get taller. The error will be small for near average height people, though significant for short and tall people.
G. J. Hamwi Formula (1964)
Men: Men: 48.0 kg + 2.7 kg per inch over 5 feet
Women: 45.5 kg + 2.2 kg per inch over 5 feet
B. J. Devine Formula (1974)
Men: 50.0 + 2.3 kg per inch over 5 feet
Women: 45.5 + 2.3 kg per inch over 5 feet
J. D. Robinson Formula (1983)
Men: 52 kg + 1.9 kg per inch over 5 feet
Women: 49 kg + 1.7 kg per inch over 5 feet
D. R. Miller Formula (1983)
Men: 56.2 kg + 1.41 kg per inch over 5 feet
Women: 53.1 kg + 1.36 kg per inch over 5 feet
Ideal Weight Calculator by Body Mass Index
Another common approach for calculating ideal body weight is to assume a mid-range BMI value and then calculate weight for a given height. A recent method by Lemmens does this with a BMI value of 22. The above calculator actually uses 21.7 as that is the actual midpoint. A problem with this approach is that it assumes the body scales with the square of height. While this is better than the linear assumption, it still underestimates the height-weight relationship. In actuality, the body scales somewhere between height squared and height cubed. Once again, the error introduced by this approximation is small for near average height people, but is significant for particularly short or tall people.
|Underweight||BMI (BBMI) <= 18.5|
|Normal weight||BMI (BBMI) = 18.5–24.9|
|Overweight||BMI (BBMI) = 25–29.9|
|Obesity||BMI (BBMI) >= 30|
Ideal Weight Calculator by Better Body Mass Index
The better body mass index (BBMI) assumes a default scaling power of 2.5, halfway between square and cube. Additionally, you can change the scaling power to see what your ideal body weight would be under the square or cubic assumptions.
How Much Should I Weigh for my Height?
As you can see, there are many conflicting approaches for determining ideal weight. So you might be wondering which one to go with. As a general suggestion, particularly tall and short people should prefer the BBMI. Otherwise, the Miller and Robinson formulas may be better given they account for gender while the BMI and BBMI do not.
A problem with all of these methods though is that they do not account for ethnicity, age, nor body composition (muscle fat ratio). This means that a muscular person might be incorrectly labeled as of unhealthy body weight. A better option for determining the healthiness of one’s body weight is to use a fat caliper or body composition analyzer.
National Institute of Health, Assessing Your Weight and Health Risk.
The origin of the “ideal” body weight equations
Determination of ideal body weight for drug dosage calculations
Estimating ideal body weight–a new formula