In October 2019 the Federal Government made it compulsory for all aged care facilities to report on weight change in their residents. Since then I have been doing a lot of calculations to find the healthy weight range for aged care residents.
It has got me thinking about how arbitrary this all is.
From one number (someone's height) comes an ideal weight range regardless of age, gender, activity or background. It really is a very vague guide which I only use as a baseline measure when deciding what someone's ideal weight is.
This is why I do not use the ideal weight range or a BMI calculation for clients I see in private practice. It is just not helpful for most people. In some cases it is a guide, but is ever only a guide.
In aged care it gives guidance to staff as to whether a resident should be gaining weight to reach the minimum weight desirable for their height. Rarely in aged care do people need to lose weight. If they are losing weight they are usually losing muscle which is not good. Losing muscle can mean more falls and infections which we aim to avoid.
So don't worry about a specific weight you should or should not be. You are more than a number on the scales.
Leanne is an experienced dietitian who is passionate about helping people eat well.