Around nine per cent of adults are reportedly underweight, while around 39% of adults above the age of 18 are overweight. Additionally, another 11 percent of men and 15 percent of women belong to the obese category. This effectively leaves four out of ten adults in the right weight category. Which category do you belong? Here’s a simple chart that clearly tells you if you weigh right, or if you are overweight/obese. Before you take a look at the chart, it is important to get a few facts right.

Does the height/weight readings differ across age groups?

Most individuals who give thought to height, weight, BMI or overall health are bound to have a question pop on their minds. Does the height weight reading differ across age groups? Well, let’s set the record straight – age does not have a bearing on the height/weight reading. To put it quite simply – it is all about your weight at a given height.

Does gender have a bearing on the ideal height/weight?

Yes, there is weight difference between both genders. This is because males typically have more bone density and muscle mass on a comparative scale. Additionally, females typically have more fat than males on a comparative scale. Consequently, a male who is similar in height to a female will typically weight anywhere between 10 to 15 percent. This is for individuals on a comparative scale, and can differ from person to person. For instance an adult male who is into resistance training will weigh heavier and will therefore have more than the 10 – 15% weight difference. Similarly, an adult female who is into resistance training/muscle building is likely to weigh more, and will therefore have lesser weight difference than the 10-15% average weight difference.

Different formulas used to arrive at the right height and weight

Historically there were four different formulas that were used to determine the ideal height and weight combination, with all the four have a slight deviation from the other. The formula that went on to become the universal standard for getting the ideal height weight combination is the Devine Formula. Here is a quick look at the different formulas that were used to get the right height/weight combination.

Gender Hamwi Formula Devine Formula Robinson Formula Miller Formula
Male 48.0 kg + 2.7 kg for every inch 5 ft 50.0 kg + 2.3 kg for every inch 5 ft 52.0 kg + 1.9 kg for every inch 5 ft 56.2 kg + 1.41 kg for every inch 5 ft
Female 45.5 kg + 2.2 kg for every inch 5 ft 45.5 kg + 2.3 kg for every inch 5 ft 49.0 kg + 1.7 kg for every inch 5 ft 53.1 kg + 1.36 kg for every inch 5 ft

Let’s look at the difference in weight for a given height across all the four categories. For instance, an adult male of height 5 feet and 10 inches is expected to have the following ideal weight as per the different formulas:

Hamwi Formula: 48 + (2.7 x 5) = 75 kgs

Devine Formula: 50 + (2.3 x 5) = 73 kgs

Robinson Formula: 52 + (1.9 x 5) = 71 kgs

Miller Formula: 52.6+(1.41 x 5) = 66.7 kgs

As can be seen from above, the variation is slight across all categories. The Devine formula is typically used universally for determining the ideal height and weight.

What is BMI and what is the ideal range of BMI

The Body Mass Index indicates if the individual’s weight is in the healthy range as per his/her height and gender. Additionally, BMI is used as a rough calculator to check the individual’s body fat levels. For instance, if the BMI increases, the individual is regarded to have more total fat.

The range of BMI is between 18.5 to 39.9.

Here is how you need to interpret the BMI scores


Underweight < 18.5
Healthy 18.5 – 24.9
Overweight 25 – 29.9
Obese 30 – 39.9


How to calculate BMI

Calculating BMI is pretty simple. The formula is weight in kgs divided by height in square meters.

Here is an example to help you understand better.

An individual weighs 72 kgs and his height is 174 cms.

His BMI is therefore = 72/(1.74 x 1.74)

                                   = 72/(3.03)

                                   = 23.76

This means that the individual is in the healthy weight range.

Ready reckoner

Here is a ready reckoner with carefully, scientifically compiled data that clearly indicates if an individual is of the right weight or overweight or obese as per different heights, alongwith the BMI score. This helps eliminate possible errors and incorrect interpretation.

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