~Body Image~
What is it?
Body Image Self-Assessment
Ideal Weight
Body Types
Tips for a Positive Body Image
Tips for Staying Healthy
Eating Disorders
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Male Image Issues
Support Groups
Diet Industry
The Media's Effect
More than just Dolls?
Ideal Weight
A lot of us get really hung up on that number on the scale. But weight doesn’t tell you much about your health and fitness status, or even how you look! A crucial part of determining how much you should weigh has to do with what makes up that weight. For example, is your weight made up of a healthy ratio of muscle, bone, and fat? Knowing this can help you interpret your scale reading.
Unfortunately, limits on "desirable" thinness have not been set. The popular notion is that, as long as a woman isn't "badly" anorexic, being thin is not hazardous. Our standard of normal body size has become so thin that average weight people are considered abnormal. What has actually been proven, however, is that people on both extremes of the continuum (excessively thin or over 100 pounds above the norm) have increased health risks. The majority of those who consider themselves "overweight" are not. To get a better idea of your health, you should consider your weight, body mass, and body fat percentage.
Ideal Weight

A lower body weight is not necessarily the goal to improve your health or enhance your appearance. Have you ever heard it said that muscle weighs more than fat? What that means is that muscle is more dense than fat. A pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat, but muscle mass is more compact and only takes up 1/3 the space! If you go on a healthy weight loss program, which includes regular exercise, you will almost certainly gain muscle and lose fat. The scale may stay the same or may even go up, but you lose inches, since muscle takes up less space.
Body Mass Index

The body mass index (BMI) is a screening tool to assess weight status. Keep in mind that BMI is only based on height and weight; it does not take into consideration your body composition or genetics. A healthy weight for you may be higher than the BMI standards. Your eating habits, physical activity patterns, other lifestyle choices, body composition and genetics are more important than any number on the scale in determining what weight is right for you. Use BMI as a rough indicator, and consult a health care professional to help you determine what weight is right for you.
Body Fat Percentage

Some body types carry more fat than others--no matter what you eat or how much you exercise. Percent body fat does not necessarily tell you how healthy or fit you are, or tell you how you look. There are large-framed students who have a higher percentage of body fat who train for triathlons, exercising several times a week and eating a healthy balanced diet. Other students may be ultra-thin and have a lower percentage of body fat, but don’t consume adequate calories or nutrients, lack physical endurance and strength, and don’t look healthy or fit.
Calculator

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*Note Concerning Body Fat Percentage

Unlike BMI, there is no one universally accepted set of body fat standards. A normal and healthy percentage of body fat varies substantially, and the results from the calculator should not be regarded as definitive for what is healthy and normal for you personally.