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Healthy Weight

Healthy Weight

Why Maintain a Healthy Weight?

Obesity is a risk factor in the development of a number of chronic diseases and conditions. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is important to reduce the risk of developing those diseases and improve overall health.

How Do I Maintain a Healthy Weight?

Balance is the key to good health. We need to balance the energy we get from foods we eat with the energy we burn though our daily activities and exercise. The right combination of enjoyable, nutritious foods from all Four Food Groups and Regular Physical Activity will help you maintain a healthy body weight and live a full life. Try to aim for a total of 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Choose activities that will help increase strength, improve cardiovascular endurance and flexibility. Healthy Weight Regular physical activity not only promotes a healthy weight, but there are many other benefits as well. Physical activity helps:

  • strengthen the heart
  • improve physical self esteem
  • increase relaxation
  • promote healthy growth and development
  • build strong bones
  • strengthen muscles
  • maintain flexibility
  • promote good posture and balance

Healthy Weight

Body Mass Index

The body mass index (BMI) is an instrument for assessing weight as it relates to health. BMI is an indicator of health risk associated with underweight and overweight, and is intended for use among healthy Canadian adults age 18 years and older. To clarify risk for each individual, other factors such as lifestyle habits, fitness level, and presence or absence of other health risk conditions also need to be considered. You can also calculate your BMI using this formula: BMI = weight (kg) / height (m)2

Table 1: BMI classification based on Category and Risk Level.

BMI (kg/m²)

Category

Risk Level

<18.5 Underweight Increased risk
18.5 – 24.9 Normal weight Least risk
25.0 – 29.9 Overweight Increased risk
30.0 – 34.9 Obese Class I High risk
35.0 – 39.9 Obese Class II Very high risk
> 40.0 Obese Class III Extremely high risk

Note: BMI does not consider lean body mass. It over calculates fatness in athletes with a muscular stature and underestimates body fat in older people with decreased muscle mass. Ref: Health Canada’s website, 2007 and Public Health Canada’s website, 2006