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Although many people prefer the less-ambiguous term body mass, the term body weight is overwhelmingly used in daily English speech and in biological and medical science contexts to describe the mass of an organism's body.

Weight, in the context of human body weight measurements in the medical sciences and in sports is a measurement of mass, and is thus expressed in units of mass, such as kilograms (kg) or pounds (lb). In Britain and Ireland], the unit stone (equivalent to 14 lb or 6.35 kg) is commonly used as well.

A quantity called body mass index (BMI) is often used to express weight relative to height. This is determined by dividing the weight of a person in kilograms by the square of the height in meters.

Psychological studies of weight estimation

Health issues involving human weight

Non-health related issues involving human weight

  • leveling the playing field in various sports such as boxing, wrestling, and judo by classifying participants according to their weight
  • issues regarding seat sizing and weight limitations on airplanes and other forms of transport

The average weight for all ages, sex and races is rising at an increasing rate in the United States. Adult men and women are roughly an inch (2.5 cm) taller than they were in 1960, but are nearly 30 pounds (14 kg) heavier on average as well. The average weight for men aged 20-74 years rose dramatically from 166.3 pounds (75.4 kg) in 1960 to 191 pounds (86.6 kg) in 2002, while the average weight for women the same age increased from 140 pounds (63.5 kg) in 1960 to 164.3 pounds (74.5 kg) in 2002 [1] Obesity is now often called an epidemic of global proportions. [2]

Average weights and heights of American, Canadian, Finnish, and British men and women

Britain: The average UK woman is 5' 3.8" (162 cm) tall and weighs Template:Lb to kg/st lb. This corresponds to a Body Mass Index of 25.5 kilograms/meters², which is slightly less than the average British man's, and less than the average American female's.

The average UK male stands 5' 9.5" (177 cm) tall and weighs Template:Lb to kg/st lb, with a Body Mass Index of 26.0 kg/m².

Canada: The average Canadian woman's weight is 153 pounds (69.4 kg) and height is 5' 3.4" (161 cm). Her male counterpart weighs 182 pounds (82.7 kg), and is 5' 8.5" (174 cm) tall.

USA: Over the ten year period (1991 to 2001), the average American woman's weight increased 11 pounds (7 %), while her height has remained about the same (an increase of 0.1 inch or 0.2% taller). Ten years ago, she weighed Template:Lb to kg/st lb at a height of 5' 3.7" (162 cm). Now, it's Template:Lb to kg/st lb and 5' 3.8" (162 cm).

Men have also increased their weight by an average of 10 pounds (6 %), from 180 to 190 pounds (82 to 86 kg / 12 st 12 lb to 13 st 8 lb), while remaining essentially the same height: 5' 10" (178 cm).

The information given in this section includes weight and height data, by date.[3] The latest weight, height and Body Mass Index data are summarized in the two tables below.


Country Women Men
Canada 145 lb (69 kg) (10st 13lb) 175 lb (83 kg) (13st 1lb)
Finland 145-175 lb (69-83 kg) 181 lb (83 kg) (13st 1lb)[How to reference and link to summary or text]
United Kingdom 147 lb (67 kg) (10st 7lb) 176 lb (80 kg) (12st 8lb)
USA 163 lb (74 kg) (11st 9lb) 185 lb (86 kg) (13st 8lb)


Country Women Men
Canada 5' 3.4" (161 cm) 5' 8.5" (174 cm)
Finland 5' 3.4" (161 cm) 5' 9" (175 cm)
United Kingdom 5' 3.8" (162 cm) 5' 9.75" (177 cm)
USA 5' 3.8" (162 cm) 5' 10" (178 cm)

See also


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