Last updated: Apr 22, 2008
In a recent New Yorker cartoon, a man says to his buddies as he chows down on a steak, “I want a woman whos not afraid to have a few extra pounds—but doesnt.” Classic. Men can pack on pounds and still be considered sexy, but a woman has to be the perfect weight and act like she doesnt care. But hold on, just what is that healthy weight?


Take a walk along any sidewalk: Half the women you pass are waifs; the other half, way beyond curvaceous. In fact, at 5 feet 4 inches tall and 163 pounds, the average American woman is at least 40 pounds heavier and 6 inches shorter than the anorexic-looking models who stroll down fashion runways. Its obvious that women on both ends of the spectrum dont always know whats healthy. The thing to remember, experts say, is that there is a range of healthy between overweight and underweight—even for the “average” 5-foot-4-inch woman.

We can help you sort it all out. Our mini-quiz and calculators will help you find the weight thats best for you—and our speedy circuit workout will help you get there fast.