Nutrition and Diet

Maintaining a healthy weight

Maintaining a healthy weight will help you feel better and reduce your chance of diseases like heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. Excess weight can put extra stress on your joints which can lead to an increased frequency of bleeds and greater discomfort.

• Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy weight. You need to eat the right number of calories depending on how active you are. If your energy intake is not in balance with the amount of energy you use, you will gain or lose weight. If you eat too much, you’ll put on weight. If you eat too little you’ll lose weight. The ‘average’ man needs around 2,500 calories a day. The ‘average' woman needs 2,000 calories. Here you can find more information on a healthy, balanced diet.

• Being physically active will help you maintain a healthy weight

BMI healthy weight calculator

Use our BMI calculator to check whether you're a healthy weight for your height. While BMI can be a good indicator of whether you are a healthy weight or not it should not be used as a substitute for a professional evaluation of your health by a healthcare professional.

BMI will help you to see if your weight is affecting your health. As your weight goes up (or down) outside the healthy weight range so your chance of health problems increases

A BMI of below 18.5 is considered underweight.
A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 suggests a healthy weight*.
A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight.
A BMI of 30 or more is classified as obese.

Underweight - Consider seeking help from your healthcare professional.
Healthy weight - Well done, you have a healthy weight. Try and stay here by eating a healthy, balanced diet and being physically active.
Overweight - By eating a healthy, balanced diet and being physically active this could help you to get into the healthy weight range.
Obese - You would benefit from losing weight. If your BMI is over 35 seek help from your healthcare professional. Eat a healthy, balanced diet and try to be physically active.

Please note that these calculations are for adults only.
If you are very fit and muscular you may have a high BMI and not be obese.

*Although some people of Asian origin have an increased chance of health problems at a lower BMI.

When using the BMI calculator please ensure that you input your measurements correctly, making sure you do not confuse imperial and metric measurements. If you do enter your details incorrectly this will give you a false result.


(e.g. If you weigh 12st 7lbs you must input this as 175 when using pounds or as 79.5 if using kilograms)


(e.g. If you are 5ft 7in tall you must enter this as 67 when using inches or as 170 if using centimetres)

Your BMI is:

A healthy body shape?

Did you know that your chance of developing health problems like type 2 diabetes and heart problems is affected by where you store your fat? Fat stored around our middle or tummy (if you are ‘apple’ shaped) causes more health problems than fat stored around our bottom or the thighs (if you are ‘pear’ shaped). This is why many healthcare professionals now believe that your waist measurement is important.

To measure your waist you will need a flexible, inelastic tape measure. In a standing position, find the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips. At a point mid-way between these two points (for many people this will be the tummy button), measure around your middle (ensuring the tape is horizontal).Take the reading whilst relaxed and after breathing in and out.

Compare your result to the following recommendations to see if you have an increased chance of health problems (these measurements are for adults only):

For women:
Ideal: less than 80cm (32”).
Higher chance: 80cm to 88cm (32” to 35”).
Still higher chance: more than 88cm (35”).

For men:
Ideal: less than 94cm (37”)*
Higher chance: 94cm to 102cm (37” to 40”).
Still higher chance: more than 102cm (40”).

*For South Asian men it’s 90cm (35 in)


For more information visit:

If you are concerned about your weight or shape speak to your healthcare professional.

For healthy eating and physical activity ideas designed to help the children in your family maintain a healthy weight visit NHS Change4Life

If you are concerned about your child’s weight speak to your healthcare professional or school nurse.