If you're confused about what a "healthy weight" really means, you're not alone. According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, two out of three Americans are considered to be overweight or obese, but only half of those people actually think they have a weight problem. In fact, the gap between how overweight we think we are and how overweight we really are is the widest it's ever been.
Herein lies the problem. We know that even small-scale weight loss — just five to 10 percent of total body weight — can substantially reduce the risk of weight-related medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. But if you don't have a clear picture of how healthy your weight is, you're less likely to make small but high-yield lifestyle changes to improve your health.
Because height and body composition vary widely among women, a healthy weight for one person may be completely unhealthy for someone else. To identify where you fall on the healthy weight spectrum, you'll need to understand your BMI and waist circumference — not just the number on the scale.