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Being a healthy weight is very important in helping to control your blood pressure. If you are overweight, losing weight will help to reduce blood pressure.
Your doctor or nurse will be able to advise you about your weight and tell you if you are a healthy weight or not. To do this, they will often use a calculation called the Body Mass Index (BMI), which tells you what weight you should be for your height.
You can calculate your own body mass index. There are a number of BMI calculators on the internet, or you can calculate it yourself. To do this, you need to measure your height in metres and your weight in kilograms:
- Divide your weight (in kilograms) by your height (in metres)
- Then divide the number by your height (in metres) again.
If you are overweight, losing weight should help to reduce blood pressure and lower your risk of other health problems, such as diabetes. Keeping to a healthy weight is a very important way to keep your heart and blood vessels healthy.
What your body mass index means
If your body mass index (BMI) is:
- less than 18.5 – you are ‘underweight’. You may need to gain weight
- 18.5-24.9 – you are in the ‘healthy weight’ range. By eating healthily you should be able to stay in the range.
- 25-29.9 – you are ‘overweight’. Aim to lose some weight for your health's sake, or at least prevent further weight gain
- 30-35 – you are ‘obese’. Losing weight will improve your health
- more than 35 – you are ‘very obese’. Visit your doctor for a health check, as you may need extra help to manage your weight and health.
The benefits of being a healthy weight
Being your ‘ideal weight’ will mean that you have the energy to do the things you want to do, and can enjoy a varied diet. It also means that you are not putting unwanted strain on your heart and arteries. Your BMI (body mass index) is a useful guide to finding a healthy, comfortable weight for you.