What is the ideal weight for a 65-year-old man? While matters of and advice regarding weight is often discussed among younger people, we tend to forget that older men and women also have to maintain a healthy BMI and weight. If you are an older person, or a younger person taking care of older people and would like to know the ideal weight for a 65-year-old man, keep reading to find out.
In this article, we are going to shed light on why older people need to maintain a healthy weight, what is BMI and how to know if you have a normal BMI or not, tips to help a 65-year-old man or any other older person achieve and maintain a healthy weight, and so much more.
Why Is Maintaining A Healthy Weight Important In Older Adults?
Before knowing the ideal weight for a 65-year-old man, we must first determine why a healthy weight is important. According to one 2017 review, obesity in younger adults differs from that of older adults. The authors say that aging is associated with loss of fat-free mass (primarily skeletal muscle) and increases in fat mass up to age 70 (12). We are all used to the fact that older people are a little on the heavier side and may assume that them having a little extra fat is okay. Some of us may even wonder ‘why make older men and women worry about their weight when they have so many other health conditions to worry about’?
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, overweight and obese adults may be at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, kidney disease, fatty liver disease, certain types of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias (4). The above mentioned paper not only agrees with this but goes on to further state that obesity is associated with medical complications such as arthritis, pulmonary abnormalities, urinary incontinence, cataracts, as well as decreased physical function, quality of life and increased frailty (12).
Maintaining your ideal body weight in old age may help prevent the above named illnesses, can help you maintain your balance, reduce pain, especially in the joints, and above all, goes a long way in improving your quality of life.
In as much as we would like to know the ideal body weight for a 65-year-old man, it is not as easy as one would think. We cannot group all 65 year olds and give them one overall weight that they should all be because, like calorie intake, there are multiple factors that affect how much each individual should weigh. Such factors include (5)
- body shape
- muscle to fat ratio
- body fat distribution
So, how can one determine the ideal weight for a particular 65-year-old man? At the moment there seems to be only one clear way of doing this and it is through your BMI.
If you are wondering ‘how much should I weigh?’ BMI aka Body Mass Index is one of the universally accepted ways to determine if you are at a healthy weight or not. For those who may be unaware, the body mass index (BMI), is defined as a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this is done by calculating an individual’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters (1). While you can do this manually, mathematics if often not everyone’s strong suit. Luckily, there are multiple online weight calculators that can help you determine the ideal weight for a 65-year-old man.
What Is A Healthy Bmi?
Now that you know how to properly calculate BMI, how can you tell if the answer you have represents a healthy BMI or not? A normal BMI or rather a healthy one is one that ranges from 18.5 to 24.9. Anything below or above that is either considered underweight, overweight or obese. The table below explains it further.
|Anything below 18.5
|18.5 to 24.9
|25.0 to 29.9
|30.0 and above
Using the above table, let us try and determine the ideal weight for three 65-year-old men.
- Man A – 65 kgs and 5’8 height (1.76 m or 176 cm)
- 65 ÷ (1.76 squared) = 20.98 ( normal BMI)
- Man B – 75 kgs and 5’4 height (1.64 m or 164 cm)
- 70 ÷ (1.64 squared) = 26.02 (Overweight)
- Man C – 65 kgs and 5’4 height (1.64 m or 164 cm)
- 65 ÷ (1.64 squared) = 24.16 (Normal BMI)
An important factor to note is that while BMI is a tool for classifying body weight and can be used to determine the ideal weight range for a 65 year old man, not everyone agrees with it. In recent years, some in the scientific community have deemed this weight calculation as flawed and sometimes misleading.
A Factor To Note
An important factor to note is that while BMI is deemed as the ideal body weight calculator and can very be used to determine the ideal weight for a 65 year old man, not everyone agrees with it. In recent years, some in the scientific community have deemed this weight calculator as wrong and misleading.
They have said that it is not as accurate a predictor of disease and mortality risk as we think because while it takes into account an individual’s weight and height, it does not account for age, gender, race, overall body composition, bone density, muscle mass, or metabolic health. This method of assessing body weight has also been accused of exaggerating thinness in short people and fatness in tall people (12).
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Other Ways Of Determining Weight In Men And Women
Because of the doubts placed on the BMI as a way of determining the ideal weight of an individual, scientists have come up with several different ways to determine how much fat one carries in your body and how it can affect your risks to chronic illnesses and other diseases. While these methods do not necessarily tell your weight or even what your weight should be, they are seen as better determinants of health and mortality. They are as follows:
Method 1: Waist To Hip Ratio
Also known as WHR, it is used to calculate whether a person’s weight and size are as healthy as should be. If you were to use this method to calculate the ideal weight for a 65-year-old man, here is how you would go about it:
- As your subject to stand up and measure their waist at the narrowest part, i.e., just above the belly button.
- Drop your measuring tape to their hips and measure the width of their hips at the largest/widest part.
- Divide waist measurement by the hip measurement.
Ps. While this would not give you their weight exactly, your calculations would let you know if this person is at a higher risk for cardiovascular illnesses or not (11). Like the BMI ranges, the WHR has ranges as well but WHR is divided by gender and these classifications can determine your risk level of cardiovascular diseases.
|WHR Ratio In Men
|Risk Of Cardiovascular Illness
|Anything below 0.95
|0.96 to 0.99
|1.0 and above
|WHR Ratio In Men
|Risk Of Cardiovascular Illness
|Anything below 0.8
|0.81 to 0.85
|0.86 and above
Method 2: Waist-To-Height Ratio
Like the above-mentioned waist to hip ratio, this method does not necessarily measure weight but according to multiple studies, the method has been quite accurate in determining one risk of heart disease, diabetes, and overall mortality. It has been stated to work more effectively than BMI (9).
This method has also been said to be better and more accurate at determining obesity, according to one 2017 study by the Leeds Beckett University. This study found that the WHR method found 36.5 percent more adults would be classified as obese using whole body fat data rather than BMI. The best predictor of whole body fat and VAT percentage was waist-to-height ratio as compared to the meager 13.5 percent resulting from the BMI method (10).
The waist-to-height ratio states that if a person’s waist measurement is less than half their height, then they are at a lower risk of the above mentioned health complications. If you divide your waist size by your height and the answer comes to 0.5 or less, then chances are that you are at a healthy weight.
The CDC further states that a man with a waist size of 40 inches or above, or a woman with a waist size of 35 inches or above has a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease (2).
Method 3: Body Fat Percentage
This is often done by a health professional in a hospital. Athletes and bodybuilders often use this method but anyone can do it.
Being overweight is not the end of the world. In fact, being overweight and past the age of 65 does not mean that there is no hope for you. If you would like to shed the extra pounds, get rid of the extra layer of fat and achieve your range of ideal weight for 65-year-old man, here are some things that you can do to achieve this
Maintain A Balanced Diet
The fundamentals of a balanced diet are quite straightforward. This eating plan requires you to consume all the five major food groups i.e., protein, carbs, healthy fats, dairy and dairy products as well as fruits and vegetables. You are also required to stay away from added sugars, stay hydrated and curb your intake of highly processed foods.
Add Healthy Foods To Your Diet
Saying that you will eat a healthy diet is simple enough but what are the best healthy foods for someone looking to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle? A few examples of such foods include
- Berries as they are low in calories and rich in antioxidants
- Lean meats and poultry – Not only are they lower in calories and saturated fats, but they are a great protein source that is great for your heart and muscles.
- Nuts and seeds – A variety of nuts and seeds in your diet is a good idea as it provides you with a fantastic source of protein, fiber, healthy fats, minerals, and other nutrients
- Leafy greens are high in carotenoids-antioxidants, and are low in calories and fats.
With old age comes muscle loss which leads to your metabolism slowing down. People with slower metabolisms find it harder to lose weight than those with a faster metabolic system. You can improve your metabolism through various exercises, hydration and a healthy diet.
Limit Your Intake Of Empty Calories
This includes foods that are overly processed, high in sugar and salt, as well as alcoholic drinks, energy drinks, sodas and more.
Not only does working out burn calories, but it also helps build muscle and muscle can very easily help you reach your ideal body weight. Some simple exercises for older people include walking, dancing, cycling, or water aerobics.
How Can An Underweight 65-Year-Old Man Achieve His Ideal Weight?
While we have spoken at length about the risks of being overweight, some older people at the age of 65 and above often find themselves to be underweight. In 2020, a Japanese study that spanned for 10 years revealed that underweight Japanese men and women not only lived for shorter years than their normal- and overweight counterparts, but they also had a poorer quality of life (8).
In the western world, a study published online in 2014 by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also linked having a BMI at the lower end of the normal range to a shorter life expectancy and poorer health to men and women over the age of 65 (3). So how can an underweight older man achieve the ideal weight for a 65-year-old man (7)?
Try And Eat More
Loss of appetite is a common thing in older folks but there are some ways to bypass this hurdle. If you are struggling with this you should:
- Eat more frequent smaller meals and snacks throughout the day instead of the usual 3 bigger meals.
- Try eating with friends and family; we often eat more when we are surrounded and distracted by family and friends.
- Add more protein in your diet. Not only are such foods healthy for you, but they are also higher in calories and full of proper nutrients.
Order Food Or Ask Someone To Cook For You
With advanced age comes less strength, painful joints and more fatigue which can make simple tasks like cooking seem like a chore. If you can afford it, order a weekly meal service that can bring you pre-packaged and pre-measured healthy foods to keep you fed throughout the week. If this is too expensive, do not be shy to ask for help from family members. Ask them to meal prep for you and that way, you always have something at the ready for you in the freezer.
Working out is not just for weight loss. Exercise helps build muscle which can increase your weight and improve mobility. If this was not enough, working out also increases your appetite which will help you eat more, leading to weight gain and to you achieving your ideal body weight.
The Bottom Line
As we have seen above, there is no one number that determines the ideal weight for a 65-year-old man. Because of the many factors that affect the weight of an individual, it is quite hard to pin it down to one specific number. Using the BMI method can give you an estimate of your weight but this method too is not perfect. We would suggest that instead of concentrating on the number on the scale, it would be better to determine how much fat you carry, especially in your midsection as this has been shown to put you at a higher risk of multiple illnesses.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any medical conditions. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- About Adult BMI (2020, cdc.gov)
- Assessing Your Weight (n.d., cdc.gov)
- BMI and all-cause mortality in older adults: a meta-analysis (2014, academic.oup.com)
- Health Tips for Older Adults (2019, niddk.nih.gov)
- How much should I weigh for my height and age? (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Ideal Weight Calculator (n.d., calculator.net)
- Keeping your weight up in later life (2018, nhs.uk)
- The Role of Underweight in Active Life Expectancy Among Older Adults in Japan (2020, academic.oup.com)
- Waist to Height Ratio (n.d., sciencedirect.com)
- Waist-to-height ratio more accurate than BMI in identifying obesity, new study shows (2017, sciencedaily.com)
- Waist-to-hip ratio versus BMI as predictors of cardiac risk in obese adult women (2001, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Weight Management in Older Adults (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Why BMI is inaccurate and misleading (2013, medicalnewstoday.com)