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How Much Should a Female Weigh?

Reviewed on 11/12/2020

Height, frame size and body fat percentage factor into ideal weights for both men and women. Assessment of these variables through tools like the BMI formula and others can determine if a given woman is over or underweight or in the healthy range.
Height, frame size and body fat percentage factor into ideal weights for both men and women. Assessment of these variables through tools like the BMI formula and others can determine if a given woman is over or underweight or in the healthy range.

A female’s ideal weight depends on a number of factors, such as: 

  • Height
  • Frame size
  • Fat and muscle proportion
  • Age

The Centers for Disease Control found that American women aged 20 years and older weighed an average of 170.6 pounds, are 5 feet, 3.7 inches tall, with a waist measurement of 38.2 inches. 

However, just because this is average, does not mean it is ideal for health. The CDC also found the average American woman’s body mass index (BMI), a calculation based on height and weight that can provide an estimate of total body fat, was 29.6, which is considered overweight.

How Can BMI Be Used to Determine Ideal Weight for Females?

BMI is a tool doctors use to determine if a person is overweight, and to what degree. BMI is often used to determine ideal weight ranges. 

BMI is calculated from the weight and square of the height:

BMI = body weight (in kg)  ÷  height (in meters) squared

  • BMI less than 18.5: Below normal weight
  • BMI 18.5 to under 24.9: Normal weight
  • BMI 25 to under 29.9: Overweight
  • BMI 30 to under 34.9: Class I Obesity
  • BMI 35 to under 39.9: Class II Obesity
  • BMI 40 or greater: Class III Obesity
 
HeightWeight (based on normal BMI of 19–24)
4’10”91–115 lbs.
4’11”94–119 lbs.
5’0″97–123 lbs.
5’1″100–127 lbs.
5’2″104–131 lbs.
5’3″107–135 lbs.
5’4″110–140 lbs.
5’5″114–144 Ibs.
5’6″118–148 lbs.
5’7″121–153 lbs.
5’8″125–158 lbs.
5’9″128–162 lbs.
5’10”132–167 lbs.
5’11”136–172 lbs.
6’0″140–177 lbs.
6’1″144–182 lbs.
6’2″148–186 lbs.
6’3″152–192 lbs.

There are some drawbacks in using BMI alone to determine ideal weight because muscle weighs more than fat. In patients who are very muscular, such as bodybuilders or professional athletes, the BMI may overestimate body fat. Conversely, older patients who have loss of muscle mass due to aging may have their body fat percentage underestimated.

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Reviewed on 11/12/2020
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