If you’re thinking about losing weight, then a good place to start is by speaking to your healthcare team or GP. They will be able to discuss a weight management plan that will work for you, help set some achievable goals and signpost you to local services.


Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is a calculation that uses your height and weight to see whether your weight is within a healthy range. Your BMI is calculated by your weight in kg, divided by the square of your height in metres.

BMI calculation in green box:  Your weight in kg divided by your height in metres squared equals your body mass index

BMI is a widely used measurement for measuring healthy weight but there can be other factors that need to be considered when using this. Muscle is much denser than fat, so someone that has a lot of muscle can find themselves classified as overweight or obese, even though they are a healthy weight for their height and body make up.

Healthy BMI range for high-risk ethnicities (e.g. South Asian, African-Caribbean) is slightly different. The classifications for BMI are as follows:

Table showing different BMI classifications;  Underweight = below 18.5 Healthy = between 18.5 - 24.9 or 18.5 - 22.9 for high risk ethnicities Overweight = 25 - 29.9 or 23 - 27.5 for high-risk ethnicities Obese = Over 30 or over 27.5 for high risk ethnicities

You can calculate your own BMI by clicking here. You can also register to access your diabetes-related health records through this site which includes all of your clinical results for measures such as BMI, HbA1c, eyes screening and much more.  

Waist measurement

Along with BMI, another important indicator is your waist measurement. This is a good way to check that you’re not carrying too much fat around your stomach and your vital organs, which increases your risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.

To measure your waist, watch the video below or follow these steps:

  1. Start at the top of your hip bone, then bring the tape measure all the way around your body, level with your belly button.
  2. Make sure it’s not too tight and that it’s straight, even at the back. Don’t hold your breath while measuring.
  3. Check the number on the tape measure right after you exhale.

The classifications for target waist circumferences are given below, again it’s important to note that these differ slightly for high-risk ethnicities (e.g. South Asian, African-Caribbean):

Waist circumference classification table  Less than 80cm (31.5 inches) for women; 94 cmm (37 inches) for men; less than 90 cm (35 inches) for males from high-risk ethnic group (South Asian, African-Caribbean)

Additional resources

One of the best ways to keep your diabetes on track is to register for MyWay Diabetes  so that you can access your diabetes-related health records and receive tailored advice and information created by NHS experts in diabetes.

Why not also take one of our free online courses to find out more about type 2 diabetes or type 2 diabetes prevention?