Body Mass Index


 
What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?
How is BMI used?
How is BMI calculated and interpreted?
Calculate your BMI.
Interpretation of BMI for adults
How reliable is BMI as an indicator of body fatness?
What are the health consequences of overweight and obesity for adults?
 
What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?

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Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person’s weight and height. BMI is one of the most accurate measures of a healthy weight range. The BMI calculator uses weight and height to indicate your body fat and gauge your health risks. BMI is an easy-to-perform method of screening for weight categories that may lead to health problems.
 
How is BMI used?

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BMI is used as a screening tool to identify possible weight problems for adults. However, BMI is not a diagnostic tool. For example, a person may have a high BMI. However, to determine if excess weight is a health risk, a healthcare provider would need to perform further assessments. These assessments might include skin-fold thickness measurements, evaluations of diet, physical activity, family history, and other appropriate health screenings.
 
How is BMI calculated and interpreted?

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To calculate your BMI, divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared, then multiply the results by a conversion factor of 703. For someone who is 5 feet 5 inches tall (65 inches) and weighs 150 pounds, the calculation would look like this: [150 ÷ (65)2] x 703 = 24.96.
 
Interpretation of BMI for adults

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For adults 20 years old and older, BMI is interpreted using standard weight status categories that are the same for all ages and for both men and women.
 
The standard weight status categories associated with BMI ranges for adults are shown in the following table.
 

BMI

Weight Status

Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 – 24.9 Normal
25.0 – 29.9 Overweight
30.0 and Above Obese
 
How reliable is BMI as an indicator of body fatness?

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The correlation between the BMI number and body fatness is fairly strong; however the correlation varies by sex, race, and age. These variations include the following examples:
 
  • At the same BMI, women tend to have more body fat than men.
  • At the same BMI, older people, on average, tend to have more body fat than younger adults.
  • Highly trained athletes may have a high BMI because of increased muscularity rather than increased body fatness.
What are the health consequences of overweight and obesity for adults?

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The BMI ranges are based on the relationship between body weight and disease and death. Overweight and obese individuals are at increased risk for many diseases and health conditions, including the following:
 
  • Hypertension
  • Dyslipidemia (for example, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)

Get Yourself Screened for BMI Now!


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