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Ideal Weights for Women

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The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, which periodically determines the weight at which mortality is lowest among its subscribers, offers this method for determining frame size:

  1. Extend one arm and bend the forearm upward at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Keep fingers straight and turn the inside of the wrist toward the body.
  3. If a caliper is available, use it to measure the space between the two prominent bones on either side of the elbow.
  4. Alternatively, place the thumb and index finger of the other hand on these two bones. Measure the space between the fingers against the ruler or a tape measure. Compare it with the figures below, which list elbow measurements for medium-framed women. Measurements less than those indicate a small frame; greater measurements indicate a large frame.
Height (barefoot) Elbow Breadth (women)
4'9" to 5'2" 2 1/4" to 2 1/2"
5'3" to 6'0" 2 3/8" to 2 5/8"

From the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Complete Book of Nutrition, ed. Victor Herbert, M.D., F.A.C.P. Courtesy of Statistical Bulletin, 1983, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

Ideal Weights According to Height and Frame

Height Small Frame Medium Frame Large Frame
4'9" 90 to 97 94 to 106 102 to 118
4'10" 92 to 100 97 to 109 105 to 121
4'11" 95 to 103 100 to 112 108 to 124
5'0" 98 to 106 103 to 116 111 to 127
5'1" 101 to 109 106 to 118 114 to 130
5'2" 104 to 112 109 to 122 117 to 134
5'3" 107 to 115 112 to 126 121 to 138
5'4" 110 to 119 116 to 131 125 to 142
5'5" 114 to 123 120 to 136 129 to 146
5'6" 118 to 127 124 to 139 133 to 150
5'7" 122 to 131 128 to 143 137 to 154
5'8" 126 to 136 132 to 147 141 to 159
5'9" 130 to 140 136 to 151 145 to 164
5'10" 134 to 144 140 to 155 149 to 169

 

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