What body weight should I strive to achieve? What is my ideal weight? How shall I rate my body?
dashing off in pursuit of an ideal body you should ask yourself what kind of figure
For many women the most important thing may be to look like the figures
of models on the glossy pages of the fashion magazines.
And yet the majority
of models have a weight and a BMI from 15 to 23% below the average of women of
the same age.
In the last 30 years, models have become 23% slimmer; while
the average woman of the same age in Western countries has become 15% fatter.
This is valid also for male models.
The result of this trend is that this
gap between models and reality has been increasing. Men and women like their bodies
less and less, and eating disorders have begun to spread like an epidemic.
A survey published in 1995 in an American psychology journal stated that after
having leafed through a high-circulation fashion magazine, 70% of readers felt
depressed, guilt for their weakness, or were ashamed of their weight and body
Aesthetic weight, that is the weight considered desirable by the
beauty industry, represents, for a lot of people, an unreachable goal, because
it is absolutely out of reach of their genes (their bodies cannot reach or maintain
that weight. But this does not render it less desirable.
A concept that
deserves more attention is the individual psychological weight definition. With
this term nutritionists usually identify the weight that a person reaches upon
maturity, when he/she is almost 25 years old, always bearing in mind the variation
limits of reference values provided by the growth table.
Weight is, under
the same conditions a function of the constitution and body morphology that at
the same time depend on height and bone dimensions.
On the basis of these
parameters, the constitution of each person can be classified as belonging to
one of these three groups: slight, normal or strong.
Therefore it is clear
that the weight a person can reasonably aspire to is the weight reached after
the end of puberty (the period of maximum expression of the constitution) which
has been more or less steadily for at least two years.
This weight could
be further decreased (in a reasonable way), at the most by 12%, and maintained
without excessive effort by correct nourishment and a regular and measured body
It would be frankly unreasonable to expect more than
For some of us, it may be a bitter pill to swallow, but we can assure
ourselves that things are so.