What if I told you that maintaining a healthy range of BMI for seniors is their greatest chance of reducing the risk of death and major health problems? You may ask, what is BMI?
BMI, better to say your best bet to live longer, measures body fat based on height and weight. It simply indicates whether you are underweight, have a healthy weight, excess weight, or obesity.
According to recent findings in 2022, the unhealthy BMI range and death stats are directly related. People underweight with a BMI under 18.5 have a 1.8-times greater chance of dying than those with a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9. For those obese (BMI of 30-34.9) and severely obese (BMI of 35 or greater), the risk of death is 1.2 times higher.
These recent findings have made many seniors aware that a proper BMI range is vital to their health. Therefore, we strongly recommend measuring your BMI right now and seeing if you are within a normal range; it will only take a few minutes.
Note: the BMI for seniors is different from that of adults and the ranges you find on many websites. Today’s article on Living Maples will discuss BMI specifically for seniors, and review the weight chart for seniors female weight chart for seniors males by age and height.
How to Calculate BMI for Seniors
In the traditional way of calculating your BMI, you would have to do the math yourself:
[BMI = Weight (kg) / [height (m) x Height (m)]
As you see, BMI is determined by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. You’re right; sometimes, math formulas are tricky and confusing! However, the good news is that we have made things easier for you. Our newly released app, Silvers BMI Calculator, lets you track and evaluate your BMI based on the relevant information on your body weight, height, age and sex in less than a minute! This app will provide you with all the necessary and helpful health, exercise, and nutrition tips. More importantly, by using this app, you can easily find out if your BMI is within the healthy range or not. Therefore, Hurry up. Track your BMI and stay healthy!
The Effects of BMI on Seniors
Although it has a simple formula and is easy to calculate, our BMI can profoundly affect us. Higher BMI makes us susceptible to heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, etc. These issues are not just for seniors; they apply to all age groups.
Hence, one can posit a direct relationship between BMI and seniors’ health factors. These findings have led some experts to suggest a BMI between 25 and 27 for seniors. Below you can compare the BMI of adults and seniors.
|Category||BMI Range for Adults||BMI Range for seniors|
|Normal||18.5 – 24.9||23 – 30|
|Overweight||25 – 29.9||> 31|
As you can notice, the “normal” for older adults (23-30) is in the “overweight” category in the standard BMI table for adults.
The difference between adults’ and seniors’ BMI can lead to various suggestions regarding maintaining a healthy weight. Since the range of 25-29.9 is considered overweight for adults, most of the time, the elderly are advised to lose weight if they have a BMI in this range, which is inaccurate. It is worth noting that seniors’ weight loss can lead to muscle loss since they have less muscle mass than their younger counterparts. Hence, encouraging weight loss to reach a “normal” weight based on the standard BMI ranges for adults (18.5-24.9) can increase the risk of mortality and poor health outcomes in seniors. So, it is necessary to stop persuading seniors to lose weight while having a normal BMI.
Below, you can see the weight chart for senior females and the ideal weight is for you.
|Height (feet & inches)||Weight (lbs)||Height (centimetres)|
|Small Frame||Medium Frame||Large Frame|
|4′ 11″||103-113||111-123||120-134||150 cm|
|5′ 1″||106-118||115-129||125-140||155 cm|
|5′ 2″||108-121||118-132||128-143||157 cm|
|5′ 3″||111-124||121-135||131-147||160 cm|
|5′ 4″||114-127||124-138||134-151||162 cm|
|5′ 5″||117-130||127-141||137-155||165 cm|
|5′ 6″||120-133||130-144||140-159||167 cm|
|5′ 7″||123-136||133-147||143-163||170 cm|
|5′ 8″||126-139||136-150||146-167||172 cm|
|5′ 9″||129-142||139-153||149-170||175 cm|
|5′ 10″||132-145||142-156||152-173||178 cm|
|5′ 11″||135-148||145-159||155-176||180 cm|
|6′ 0″||138-151||148-162||158-179||183 cm|
Do you need to know the ideal weight of a 70 years old man calculated from different heights? Use this table to check if you’re the right weight for your height.
Weight Chart for Senior Males
by Age and Height
|Height (feet & inches)||Weight (lbs)||Height (centimetres)|
|Small Frame||Medium Frame||Large Frame|
|5′ 2″||128-134||131-141||138-150||157 cm|
|5′ 3″||130-136||133-143||140-153||160 cm|
|5′ 4″||132-138||135-145||142-156||162 cm|
|5′ 5″||134-140||137-148||144-160||165 cm|
|5′ 6″||136-142||139-151||146-164||167 cm|
|5′ 7″||138-145||142-154||149-168||170 cm|
|5′ 8″||140-148||145-157||152-172||172 cm|
|5′ 9″||142-151||148-160||155-176||175 cm|
|5′ 10″||144-154||151-163||158-180||178 cm|
|5′ 11″||146-157||154-166||161-184||180 cm|
|6′ 0″||149-160||157-170||164-188||183 cm|
|6′ 1″||152-164||160-174||168-192||185 cm|
|6′ 2″||155-168||164-178||172-197||188 cm|
|6′ 3″||155-168||164-178||172-197||190 cm|
|6′ 4″||162-176||171-187||181-207||195 cm|
Does BMI Increase with Age?
BMI incorporates weight and height for adults ages 20 years and older, but it does not take age or sex into account.
A woman having the same BMI often has more body fat than a man. Similarly, people over the age of 65 tend to have a greater percentage of body fat than people under 35.
Due to these reasons, BMI may not provide the detail needed to determine whether a person’s weight is healthy.
Potential Dangers of Low BMI for Seniors
An extensive study was conducted on seniors’ BMI, and the results were published in 2014 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study compared the effects of low and high BMI on seniors’ health and the mortality rate. The results were quite shocking. Contrary to popular belief, being underweight increases the risk of death for seniors over the age of 65, but being overweight does not.
Several studies found that low BMI (underweight) at age 65 led to poor health and shorter life expectancy. Being overweight or obese at 65 was only rarely linked to worse health outcomes or lower life expectancy than those at a healthy weight at age 65.
It is interesting to note that, generally, seniors who were overweight or obese enjoyed better health than seniors with a lower BMI. However, it does not mean seniors should gain weight to enjoy better health.
Challenges and Health Risks of an Unhealthy BMI
As stated earlier, though having a higher BMI is not as dangerous as being underweight, it doesn’t endorse that seniors should ignore excess weight. Being overweight poses several dangers for seniors, including blood pressure, stroke, osteoarthritis, and breathing disorders. It is challenging to choose an ideal BMI or weight range for seniors over 65; however, it is essential to ensure that seniors are not losing weight due to an illness or poor nutrition, which can cause severe damage to their health.
Losing weight and entering the “underweight” category of BMI make seniors susceptible to various illnesses and decrease recovery from illness.
Maintaining an Ideal BMI for Seniors
We should remember that the ideal BMI is not the same for everyone, and several factors influence the target BMI. For instance, seniors with diabetes should lose weight, but losing weight for seniors suffering from conditions such as anemia may be life-threatening.
Generally, ageing comes with health issues, changes in activity level, and metabolic changes, making it challenging to maintain a healthy BMI. Hence, asking a nutritionist to set specific caloric goals for you is essential. It is also necessary to take mineral and vitamin supplements suitable for seniors to have better health while maintaining the ideal weight.
Recognizing and correcting any weight loss in seniors is vital before it becomes a significant problem. Weight loss also indicates that you are not achieving your age’s ideal dietary goals or having a health issue that needs immediate attention.
Tips on Reducing the BMI of Seniors
Since seniors’ BMI is measured only by weight and height, one must lose weight to reduce BMI. You can reduce your BMI by following these steps:
Better Food Choices
Low-calorie, high-fibre foods such as fruits and vegetables, beans, and whole grains can help you lose weight. According to the USDA, variety, nutrient density, and the amount consumed per meal are essential in weight loss. It is best to reduce the amount of sugar, unhealthy fats, and salt in your diet to maintain your health. In general, limit your salt intake to 2,300 mg and sugar and processed fats to less than 10% of your total daily calorie intake.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as walking). It also advises 75 minutes of strenuous aerobic exercise (such as cycling, swimming, running, or brisk walking) per week. Furthermore, to improve your health, you can increase the duration of moderate-intensity aerobic activity to 300 minutes or intense aerobic exercise to 150 minutes per week.
Seniors need seven to nine hours of sleep a day. Chronic sleep deprivation or poor sleep quality can increase high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity. In general, one can say that elderly sleep disorders and obesity are directly related.
Stress and Anxiety Management
Stress is indispensable, and not all stress is harmful. But acute stress puts pressure on the body. It increases the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. Stress management techniques, including regular exercise, yoga, meditation, emotional support from friends and family, and talking to a counsellor, can reduce seniors’ BMI.
Getting to your target BMI can be more challenging as you age due to health issues, changes in activity, medications, and altered metabolism. If you want advice about caloric goals or need vitamin and mineral supplements, a nutrition specialist can help.
The key is to recognize weight loss as soon as it occurs and to take steps to stop before getting worth it. If you are experiencing weight loss, it could be because you are not meeting the ideal dietary goals for your age group or due to a health concern that merits investigation.
What is a healthy BMI for seniors?
Generally, the ideal BMI range for seniors is between 25-27.
How to measure BMI for seniors?
You need to divide your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. Or you can download Silvers BMI Calculator app and let it do the math for you, which is easier.
What is the best BMI for a senior woman?
The best BMI for seniors might differ depending on every woman’s condition. But it is suggested that women over 65 keep their BMI at 25-27 or slightly higher.
How much should a 70-year-old woman weigh?
The ideal weight depends on your height. It’s best to check the healthy weight chart for senior females above and target the ideal weight for you.