Weight control

Cardiology - Healthy eating for a healthy heart

Eating healthily helps us to keep to a healthy weight leading to lowering of your cholesterol and keep your blood pressure under control and help prevent fatty deposits building up in your arteries.



Weighing scales

What is a healthy weight?

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women.


BMI is a reliable indicator of total body fat, which is related to the risk of disease and death however does have some limitations:

  • It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build.
  • It may underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle mass.
  • Waist circumference may be a better predictor of health risks for all individuals.
  • Waist circumference is a good predictor of the amount of fat located in the central area, which essentially means fat stored inside the abdominal cavity and around the vital organs.
  • This can carry a serious health risk as the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer and type II diabetes rises with each increase in waist circumference measurement.


To work out your BMI

BMI score =


wt (Weight in kilograms)


Ht (Height in meters)2


The BMI score means the following:


Below 18.5
18.5 - 24.9
25.0 - 29.9
Above 30.0


> NHS healthy weight calculator



Waist measurements - how to measure your waist

Using a measuring tape

  1. Find the top of your hip bone and the bottom of your ribs.
  2. Breathe out naturally.
  3. Place the tape measure midway between these points and wrap it around your waist.
  4. Check your measurement.


Why are there separate measurements for Asian men and women?

People of Asian backgrounds tend to have a higher proportion of body fat to muscle than the rest of the UK population leading to a greater risk of developing problems such as diabetes and coronary heart disease at a lower waist size than other people in the UK.




Your health is at risk if you have a waist size of:

Your health is at high risk if you have a waist size of:


Over 94cm (about 37 inches)

Over 102cm (about 40 inches)


Over 80cm (about 31.5 inches)

Over 88cm (about 34.5 inches)

Asian men


Over 90cm (about 35.5 inches)

Asian women


Over 80cm (about 31.5 inches)








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