Ideal weight

The ideal weight can be determined by measuring wrist circumference or elbow breadth. The latter is a more reliable method, because the wrist circumference is highly influenced by a person's body weight.

Wrist circumference Measuring the wrist circumference

The wrist circumference is measured with a measuring tape. This formula can be used to determine frame size: Height (H) in cm / wrist circumference (C) in cm.

Elbow breadth Measuring the wrist circumference

The elbow breadth is measured by using a sliding caliper. The person's right arm is extended forward perpendicular to the body. The arm and elbow form a 90º angle, with the fingers pointing up and the dorsal part of the wrist toward the dietician.  The largest breadth across the elbow joint is used for the measurement.

Calculating the Percentage Ideal Weight (PIW)

The Percentage Ideal Weight (or Relative Weight Index) expresses which percentage of the ideal weight, is the actual weight. The formula is: Current body weight / ideal bodyweight * 100%.

Ideal weight

Reference values

• Reference values for determining ideal weight in adults and the elderly. The frame size can be determined with the aid of the tables in this document.
• Metropolitan Life Table of the  Maastricht University Medical Centre (MUMC+): this hospital has developed a table with a revised height and length:  the Metropolitan Life tabel, based on a test group with people aged 25 - 29 years.