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Healthy bodies come in many shapes, sizes and abilities. A healthy weight is one that contributes to your overall health, well-being and quality of life. It is different for each individual. Your weight is not simply a result of what you eat or how active you are. Genetics, existing health conditions, stress, sleep quality, your environment, and other factors also influence your weight.
Your best weight is the weight you can achieve and maintain when living the healthiest lifestyle that is enjoyable and realistic for you. Learn about healthy weights at Canadian Obesity Network: Let’s talk about weight. No size fits all.
For information about the healthy growth and development of children, see Infants, Children and Youth.
Eating Well for Good Health
Eating well can benefit your health regardless of your weight. Find a healthy eating pattern that works for you and that you can follow long term. Healthy eating isn't only about the foods you eat. It also involves being mindful of your eating habits, taking time to eat, enjoying your food and eating with others, and noticing when you are hungry and when you are full. Learn about mindfulness, eating habits, and patterns of eating for good health:
Physical Activity for Good Health
Physical activity can also benefit your health regardless of your weight. A few ways it does this are, increasing your physical fitness, decreasing your risk of health conditions (i.e., heart conditions and several cancers), and improving your mood and sleep. What's more, benefits can start building up with just a few minutes of any type of physical activity. Learn about what physical activity can do for your health and how to become and stay more active:
Body mass index (BMI) and waist size are examples of tools that can be used to assess health risk related to weight. Keep in mind weight is only one indicator of health risk. Other risk factors include lifestyle habits like smoking, physical inactivity and poor eating habits.
Weight-related Conditions and Concerns
Disordered Eating and Eating Disorders
Some people find themselves struggling with unhealthy thoughts and behaviours towards food, weight and body shape. If you are concerned that you or a loved one are experiencing disordered eating, speak to your health care provider. Getting support early may help to prevent an eating disorder from developing. Learn about the signs and symptoms of eating disorders, and where to find help.
For some people, carrying extra weight affects their physical, emotional or social well-being. Speak with your health care provider if you are concerned that extra weight is affecting your health. They can do a comprehensive health assessment, help you set healthy lifestyle goals, and discuss treatment options. These might include support programs for behavior change, medications, or surgery. Learn more about obesity, treatment and supports.
Unplanned Weight Changes
Changes in your health, eating or physical activity habits, or taking certain medications can cause changes in your weight. Sudden or unexplained weight changes at any age may be a sign of a health concern. Learn about unplanned weight loss.
If you are concerned that your weight is affecting your health and have questions about nutrition or physical activity, call 8-1-1 to speak with a registered dietitian or qualified exercise professional.
Last Updated: January 2023