Reduce Your Risk

Prevention

Maintain a healthy weight

Almost two out of three Australian adults are overweight or obese.

Being overweight, especially around your waistline, increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. If you already have diabetes, managing your weight is important in helping you to avoid complications.

How do I know if I am 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

Measuring your waist is simple to do, just follow the steps below.

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

Women should aim for a waist circumference less than 80cm and men should aim for less than 94cm.

Body Mass Index

BMI is a widely used measure to find out whether you are a healthy weight for your height. Your BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared. For example, a person who weighs 60 kilograms and is 165cm tall would calculate their BMI as follows:

60 ÷ (1.65 x 1.65) = 22.0

There are many online tools that you can use to calculate your BMI, including one used by the Australian Department of Health (external site). Once you have your BMI you can check to see whether you are in the healthy weight range.

Weight classification BMI
Underweight Less than 18.5
Healthy weight 18.5 to 24.9
Overweight 25 to 29.9
Obese 30 or above

It is important that you do not use BMI alone when trying to determine if you are a healthy weight. BMI measurements may not give a true picture of your status if you:

  • are under 18
  • are over 65
  • are pregnant
  • have a higher than average muscle mass
  • come from particular ethnic backgrounds (non-Caucasian).

If you need to lose weight to get back into the healthy weight range, Diabetes WA has a number of individual and group healthy lifestyle programs that can help you on your way.

Would you like to subscribe to our e-newsletter?