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Weight, body mass index and waist circumference

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Have you been inspired by RTE’s “Operation Transformation”? Committed to making a positive change in 2016? An important part of getting started on the path to real change is to understand where you are now, starting with this question….Do you know your numbers? Knowing your own vital numbers gives you your starting point.


As part of our commitment to helping you be healthier in 2016, Whelehans have teamed up the Operation Transformation team to offer you the opportunity to have your BMI, weight and waist measurements measured at no charge by a qualified nutritionist.  Next Saturday 9th January, we host a “Do you know your numbers” weight management event with Nutritionist Aisling Murray at Whelehans Pharmacy. Our nutritionist will offer free BMI, weight and waist measurements as well as nutrition advice in one to one consultations. Simply call Whelehans at 04493 34591 to book your free check.


Body Mass Index (BMI)


Many experts recognise body mass index (BMI) as the most accurate way to determine if you are a healthy weight for your height by providing a numerical rating. Recent medical research uses BMI as an indicator of an individual’s health status and disease risk.


Below are the ranges for BMI values for adults:






Health risk




Less than 18.5


Osteoporosis, infertility and lung disease. Recommended to speak to a GP.


Healthy Weight


18.6 – 24.9


Low risk of a weight related disease.




25.0 – 29.9


type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease and certain cancers.




Greater than 30


Higher risk of all the above diseases.



BMI doesn’t tell the whole picture (like where on the body you are carrying weight and what that weight is eg. Muscle, tissue or fat). BMI is just an indicator to follow. BMI is beneficial for assessing a person’s risk of disease, such as heart disease and diabetes and can give an indication of how likely you are to develop these diseases. BMI is only suitable for someone who participates in light exercise.


Waist Circumference


Carrying weight around your stomach compared to elsewhere on the body, is directly linked with an increased risk of certain chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. The reason carrying weight around your stomach (trunk region) makes you more susceptible to chronic diseases are due to the hormones which are produced as a result and they have a negative impact on our bodies.


How to measure your waist?


To measure your waist, you need to find the bottom of your rips and the top of your hips. Your waist is located in the middle of these two points (for the majority of people this will be around the belly button). A measuring tape is then wrapped around your bare skin or a light shirt. Make sure to be relaxed, exhale and then measure your waist. A common mistake regularly made is assuming your waist is where your trousers sit.


The table below indicates your risk of ill health depending on your waist measurement. These measurements refer to adults only. 



Waist measurement






Healthy Range


36 inches or less


31 inches or less


Overweight range


37- 40 inches


32 – 35 inches


Obese range


40 inches or over


35 inches or over


Overweight range


Regardless of your height or build, if your waist measurement is over 32 inches as a woman and 37 inches as a man you are considered to be in the overweight range. This doesn’t necessarily mean an individual is obese; what it indicates is that the person is carrying excess weight around their middle and are at an increased risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. If you are in the overweight range, making healthy lifestyle changes, improving your diet and increasing exercise will help reduce or prevent any further increases in your waist.


Keeping the weight off longer term


Once you know your numbers you have the benchmark you need to set your own goals and targets. To help you achieve all you want to, have you thought about taking advantage of a professional nutrition service? If you have been thinking of doing something about your weight or diet for a while, perhaps it is time to take advantage of the nutrition service at Whelehans where you can get the comprehensive support and information you need to help you reach your target weight.


Whelehans Nutrition Service is now at a special weekly rate of only €10 per week. Your private and confidential one to one appointments with our qualified nutritionist Aisling Murray Bsc are held in our purpose built consultation room within the pharmacy. Aisling, will help you each step of the way to reach your goals through a mix of weekly weight checks, support along with professional dietary and nutritional advice.


Take the first step on the path to a new you in 2016, call 04493 34591 now for more information or to book your free place at our free weight managment event next Saturday January 9th. With the first installment of Operation Transformation airing on RTE on Wednesday January 6th at 8:30pm, our event will be popular and with places limited, be sure to call quickly to secure your place


For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans, log on to or dial 04493 34591. Email queries to


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