Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do for your health and well-being. Gaining weight doesn't have to be an inevitable part of getting older!

The key to reaching and staying a healthy weight is to enjoy healthy eating and physical activity every day. When our weight changes, it generally comes down to two factors: how much we eat and drink (energy in) and how active we are (energy out). It’s all about achieving a balance.

Healthy eating and regular physical activity should be priorities for everyone, regardless of whether or not you are trying to lose weight.

Risk of disease

Maintaining a healthy body weight lowers your risk of developing disease.

Being overweight increases your chance of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and several cancers (including cancers of the oesophagus, pancreas, bowel and breast). It also increases your chance of developing high blood pressure, gall bladder disease, gout, impaired fertility, lower back pain, osteoarthritis and many other health problems.

Eating healthy foods and being physically active every day can help you achieve a healthy body weight with the added benefit of lowering your risk of developing chronic disease.

Am I a healthy weight?

There are two simple ways to find out if you're a healthy weight: by measuring your waistline and/or calculating your BMI.

1) Waist measurement

Measuring your waistline is a simple way of assessing your risk of developing chronic disease, including some types of cancer.

Excess fat around your waist is known to be more dangerous to your health than excess fat elsewhere on your body, for example on your hips and thighs.

Measure your waist

2) BMI

BMI stands for Body Mass Index. It's used to give you an idea of whether you're underweight, overweight or a healthy weight for your height.

While there are some limitations, the BMI is still a good indicator of whether or not you're a healthy weight (some exceptions include children, pregnant women and people with athletic builds, such as bodybuilders).

Calculate your risk