What Is the Ideal Average Weight for Women?

Reviewed on 7/14/2021
The ideal average weight for women is the one that is healthy for her.
The ideal average weight for women is the one that is healthy for them.

The ideal average weight for women is the one that is healthy for them. It varies amongst women as per their height.  As per the CDC report, the average weight of American women in 2015-2016 was 77.4 kg (170.6 lb) in 2015–2016, up from 74.3 kg (163.8 lb) in 1999–2000. 

To find out if any person is underweight, normal-weight, overweight, or obese, their Body Mass Index (BMI) is calculated from weight and height. The BMI lets you know if your weight is normal for your height. Here is how  you can find out your BMI:

BMI = weight in kg divided by height in meter, then again divide the result by height in meter.

For example, if your height is 166 cm (1.6 m) and weight is 67 kg, your BMI is calculated as:

  •  67 ÷ 1.66 = 40.36 and then, 40.36 ÷ 1.66 = 24.31. This 24.31 is your BMI. 

Alternatively, you can multiply your weight in pounds by 703, divide by your height in inches, then divide again by your height in inches.

The normal BMI range is 18.5 – 24.9. 

Given below is the chart showing ideal (healthy) weight by age for a given height.

BMI
(kg/m2)
19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 35 40
Height
(foot)
Weight (lb.)
4.8 91 96 100 105 110 115 119 124 129 134 138 143 167 191
4.9 94 99 104 109 114 119 124 128 133 138 143 148 173 198
5.0 97 102 107 112 118 123 128 133 138 143 148 153 179 204
5.1 100 106 111 116 122 127 132 137 143 148 153 158 185 211
5.2 104 109 115 120 126 131 136 142 147 153 158 164 191 218
5.3 107 113 118 124 130 135 141 146 152 158 163 169 197 225
5.33 110 116 122 128 134 140 145 151 157 163 169 174 204 232
5.42 114 120 126 132 138 144 150 156 162 168 174 180 210 240
5.5 118 124 130 136 142 148 155 161 167 173 179 186 216 247
5.58 121 127 134 140 146 153 159 166 172 178 185 191 223 255
5.67 125 131 138 144 151 158 164 171 177 184 190 197 230 262
5.75 128 135 142 149 155 162 169 176 182 189 196 203 236 270
5.83 132 139 146 153 160 167 174 181 188 195 202 207 243 278
5.91 136 143 150 157 165 172 179 186 193 200 208 215 250 286
6.0 140 147 154 162 169 177 184 191 199 206 213 221 258 294
6.08 144 151 159 166 174 182 189 197 204 212 219 227 265 302
6.17 148 155 163 171 179 186 194 202 210 218 225 233 272 311
6.25 152 160 168 176 184 192 200 208 216 224 232 240 279 319
6.33 156 164 172 180 189 197 205 213 221 230 238 246 287 328

BMI to Appropriate Weight and Height Chart Courtesy of the National Institutes of Health
 

How is BMI interpreted for adults?

BMI can be a screening tool for deciding the ideal weight for you and letting you know if your weight is on the higher side. But it does not tell us about your total body fat content or health status. This is because weight is a measure of water content + fat content + bone + muscle mass. Out of these things, the muscle mass varies the most amongst individuals. If you are someone who does muscle-strengthening exercises daily, you will have more muscle weight than others. 

Being overweight and obese puts you at risk for many health disorders such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), heart diseases, stroke, and cancer amongst many others. To determine if a particular BMI exposes you to health risks, the healthcare provider will assess other factors such as

  • your waist-circumference,
  • waist-hip ratio,
  • skinfold thickness,
  • diet,
  • physical activity, and
  • family history.

Other methods to measure body fatness include

  • skinfold thickness measurements,
  • bioelectrical impedance, and
  • dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA).

However, these methods are not always easily available, and they are either costly or need expertise to conduct them.

What is the importance of the waist-hip ratio?

Your waist-to-hip ratio is another good parameter to check if you have a healthy weight or not. To calculate this ratio, you should first measure your waist circumference at its smallest part and your hip circumference at its widest part.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a waist-to-hip ratio in women should be:

To achieve a healthy weight or a healthy BMI and normal waist-hip ratio, it is vital to adopt healthy lifestyle choices such as a healthy dietary pattern and regular moderate- or high-intensity exercises (at least 30 minutes/day for most days of the week). A visit to a doctor or dietician will help you decide the best, feasible options for you.

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References
The United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Assessing Your Weight. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/index.html

The United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Mean Body Weight, Height, Waist Circumference, and Body Mass Index Among Adults: United States, 1999–2000 Through 2015–2016. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr122-508.pdf

Abnormal waist circumference, but not BMI, associated with mortality risk in CAD. Available at: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/790907

Normal Weight Ranges: Body Mass Index (BMI). Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/diet-physical-activity/body-weight-and-cancer-risk/adult-bmi.html

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