Body mass index

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What is BMI or Body Mass Index?

Body mass index refers to a measure based on a mathematica formula that looks at your weight relative to your height. Although it is not perfect, it is an easy practical tool to help you understand your risk of obesity. BMI may be a fairly reliable indicator of adiposity or fatness of the body for most average individuals as it acts as an indirect measure of body fat as has been shown in research studies comparing BMI to Dexa scan measured body fat percentage with reasonable correlation for most people. Except for those that are extremely athletic, BMI serves as a cheap and easy practical tool to measure percentage body fat without actually measuring it.

How is BMI used to help determine once risk?

BMI is employed as a first line test or a screening tool. The other measures to consider include skinfold thickness measurements, evaluations of diet, physical activity, health and nutrition history,body composition analysis and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry or DXA scan, waist to hip ratio, blood tests to determine the risk of metabolic syndrome etc.

Formula and Calculation

Metric system

With the system of weights and measures, the formula for BMI is weight in kilograms divided by height in meters square. Since height is usually measured in centimeters, divide height in centimeters by one hundred to get height in meters.


Example: Weight = sixty eight kilogram, Height = a hundred sixty five cm (1.65 m) Calculation: sixty eight ÷ (1.65)2 = 24.98


Pounds and inches

Formula: weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703 Calculate BMI by dividing weight in pounds (lbs) by height in inches (in) square and multiplying by a factor of 703. Example: Weight = one hundred fifty lbs, Height = 5\'5\" (65\") Calculation: [150 ÷ (65)2] x 703 = twenty four.96

Interpretation of BMI for adults

For adults twenty years previous and older, the following BMI categories are used.

Is BMI understood identical means for youngsters and youths because it is for adults? Although the BMI range is calculated identical means for youngsters and adults, the standards wont to interpret the that means of the BMI range for youngsters and youths are totally different from those used for adults. for youngsters and youths, BMI age- and sex-specific percentiles are used for 2 reasons: The amount of body fat changes with age. The amount of body fat differs between women and boys. Because of these factors, the interpretation of BMI is each age- and sex-specific for youngsters and youths.

BMIchartAJPEG485x510.jpg

BMI categories

  • Body mass Index of below 18.5 is considered underweight
  • Body mass index of 18.5 – 24.9 is considered normal
  • Body mass index of 25.0 – 29.9 is considered overweight
  • Body mass index of 30.0 - 34.9 is considered mild degree of obesity
  • Body mass index of 35.0 - 39.9 is considered moderate degree of moderate obesity
  • Body mass index of 30.0 - 34.9 is considered severe or morbid obesity

Adult And Children Body Mass Index Calculators

Adult Body Mass Index Chart

WEIGHT 4'8" 4'9" 4'10" 4'11" 5'0" 5'1" 5'2" 5'3" 5'4" 5'5" 5'6" 5'7" 5'8" 5'9" 5'10" 5'11" 6'0" 6'1" 6'2" 6'3" 6'4" 6'5"
lbs (kg) 142cm 147.32 149.86 152.4 154.94 157.48 160.02 162.56 165.1 167.64 170.18 172.72 175.26 177.8 180.34 182.88 185.42 187.96 190.5 193.04 195.58
260 (117.9) 58 56 54 53 51 49 48 46 45 43 42 41 40 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 32 31
255 (115.7) 57 55 53 51 50 48 47 45 44 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30
250 (113.4) 56 54 52 50 49 47 46 44 43 42 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 30
245 (111.1) 55 53 51 49 48 46 45 43 42 41 40 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 31 30 29
240 (108.9) 54 52 50 48 47 45 44 43 41 40 39 38 36 35 34 33 33 32 31 30 29 28
235 (106.6) 53 51 49 47 46 44 43 42 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 29 28
230 (104.3) 52 50 48 46 45 43 42 41 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 30 29 28 27
225 (102.1) 50 49 47 45 44 43 41 40 39 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 31 30 29 28 27 27
220 (99.8) 49 48 46 44 43 42 40 39 38 37 36 34 33 32 32 31 30 29 28 27 27 26
215 (97.5) 48 47 45 43 42 41 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 28 27 26 25
210 (95.3) 47 45 44 42 41 40 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 28 27 26 26 25
205 (93.0) 46 44 43 41 40 39 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 29 28 27 26 26 25 24
200 (90.7) 45 43 42 40 39 38 37 35 34 33 32 31 30 30 29 28 27 26 26 25 24 24
195 (88.5) 44 42 41 39 38 37 36 35 33 32 31 31 30 29 28 27 26 26 25 24 24 23
190 (86.2) 43 41 40 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 26 26 25 24 24 23 23
185 (83.9) 41 40 39 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 27 26 25 24 24 23 23 22
180 (81.6) 40 39 38 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 27 26 25 24 24 23 22 22 21
175 (79.4) 39 38 37 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 27 26 25 24 24 23 22 22 21 21
170 (77.1) 38 37 36 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 27 26 25 24 24 23 22 22 21 21 20
165 (74.8) 37 36 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 27 26 25 24 24 23 22 22 21 21 20 20
160 (72.6) 36 35 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 27 26 25 24 24 23 22 22 21 21 20 19 19
155 (70.3) 35 34 32 31 30 29 28 27 27 26 25 24 24 23 22 22 21 20 20 19 19 18
150 (68.0) 34 32 31 30 29 28 27 27 26 25 24 23 23 22 22 21 20 20 19 19 18 18
145 (65.8) 33 31 30 29 28 27 27 26 25 24 23 23 22 21 21 20 20 19 19 18 18 17
140 (63.5) 31 30 29 28 27 26 26 25 24 23 23 22 21 21 20 20 19 18 18 17 17 17
135 (61.2) 30 29 28 27 26 26 25 24 23 22 22 21 21 20 19 19 18 18 17 17 16 16
130 (59.0) 29 28 27 26 25 25 24 23 22 22 21 20 20 19 19 18 18 17 17 16 16 15
125 (56.7) 28 27 26 25 24 24 23 22 21 21 20 20 19 18 18 17 17 16 16 16 15 15
120 (54.4) 27 26 25 24 23 23 22 21 21 20 19 19 18 18 17 17 16 16 15 15 15 14
115 (52.2) 26 25 24 23 22 22 21 20 20 19 19 18 17 17 16 16 16 15 15 14 14 14
110 (49.9) 25 24 23 22 21 21 20 19 19 18 18 17 17 16 16 15 15 15 14 14 13 13
105 (47.6) 24 23 22 21 21 20 19 19 18 17 17 16 16 16 15 15 14 14 13 13 13 12
100 (45.4) 22 22 21 20 20 19 18 18 17 17 16 16 15 15 14 14 14 13 13 12 12 12
95 (43.1) 21 21 20 19 19 18 17 17 16 16 15 15 14 14 14 13 13 13 12 12 12 11
90 (40.8) 20 19 19 18 18 17 16 16 15 15 15 14 14 13 13 13 12 12 12 11 11 11
85 (38.6) 19 18 18 17 17 16 16 15 15 14 14 13 13 13 12 12 12 11 11 11 10 10
80 (36.3) 18 17 17 16 16 15 15 14 14 13 13 13 12 12 11 11 11 11 10 10 10 9

Source: BRFSS survey data from CDC

Distribution of body weight by percentage distribution adults - 2012

State: Underweight (bmi 12.0-18.4) Normal Weight (bmi 18.5-24.9) Overweight (bmi 25.0-29.9) Obese (bmi 30.0 - 99.8)
Nationwide (States, DC, and Territories) 1.8 34.2 35.8 28.1
Nationwide (States and DC) 1.8 34.2 35.8 27.6
Alabama 1.7 30.6 34.8 33.0
Alaska 0.9 34.4 39.1 25.7
Arizona 2.3 35.7 36.0 26.0
Arkansas 1.8 29.5 34.2 34.5
California 1.9 37.8 35.3 25.0
Colorado 2.3 42.0 35.2 20.5
Connecticut 1.7 36.1 36.7 25.6
Delaware 1.5 32.5 39.1 26.9
District of Columbia 2.2 46.0 30.0 21.9
Florida 1.5 36.4 36.9 25.2
Georgia 2.0 33.3 35.5 29.1
Guam 2.9 35.6 32.4 29.1
Hawaii 2.7 41.2 32.5 23.6
Idaho 1.8 35.7 35.8 26.8
Illinois 2.2 33.8 35.8 28.1
Indiana 1.7 32.8 34.1 31.4
Iowa 1.8 33.5 34.3 30.4
Kansas 2.0 32.4 35.7 29.9
Kentucky 2.0 31.1 35.6 31.3
Louisiana 1.9 28.5 34.8 34.7
Maine 1.6 34.3 35.8 28.4
Maryland 2.0 34.2 36.2 27.6
Massachusetts 2.1 39.2 35.9 22.9
Michigan 1.6 32.8 34.6 31.1
Minnesota 1.6 35.4 37.3 25.7
Mississippi 1.8 29.3 34.3 34.6
Missouri 1.9 32.4 36.2 29.6
Montana 1.5 37.1 37.0 24.3
Nebraska 1.7 33.3 36.4 28.6
Nevada 2.7 34.8 36.3 26.2
New Hampshire 1.4 36.5 34.8 27.3
New Jersey 1.9 36.5 37.0 24.6
New Mexico 2.2 35.0 35.7 27.1
New York 2.6 36.9 37.0 23.6
North Carolina 1.8 32.4 36.3 29.6
North Dakota 1.8 32.0 36.6 29.7
Ohio 1.7 33.0 35.2 30.1
Oklahoma 1.8 30.4 35.6 32.2
Oregon 1.7 37.2 33.8 27.3
Pennsylvania 1.7 33.3 35.9 29.1
Puerto Rico 2.1 31.7 37.8 28.4
Rhode Island 1.6 35.5 37.2 25.7
South Carolina 1.5 32.4 34.5 31.6
South Dakota 1.5 32.4 37.9 28.1
Tennessee 2.0 32.7 34.2 31.1
Texas 1.8 33.2 35.9 29.2
Utah 1.8 40.4 33.5 24.3
Vermont 1.7 38.0 36.6 23.7
Virginia 2.0 34.4 36.2 27.4
Washington 1.8 36.0 35.4 26.8
West Virginia 1.7 30.0 34.5 33.8
Wisconsin 1.8 31.8 36.8 29.7
Wyoming 1.5 35.1 38.7 24.6


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Note: BMI values rounded to the nearest whole number. BMI categories based on CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) criteria.


Children BMI calculator

The formulas used in children are different as their weight is based on growth charts and do not correspond to adult BMI scale numbers. Use an online childhood BMI calculators below.

Online BMI Calculators

While there are many BMI calculators, here are some BMI calculators you can use.

Tips to lose weight?

  • Understand the causes of weight gain and proven measures to lose weight.

Also see Lose weight, Very low calorie diet, Insulin resistance and [[weight gain}causes of weight gain]] 8 steps to weight loss


World's largest food, health, wellness and weight loss encyclopedia

If you are a medical professional or an expert in any field of medicine, please join us in building the world's largest weight loss and wellness encyclopedia created by experts in the field, not by the crowd. Since its inception in 2011, W8MD’s insurance physician weight loss program has successfully helped thousands of patients succeed in not only losing weight but also keep it off with an ongoing maintenance plan.

W8MD’s physician weight loss program is unique in many ways with a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to weight loss addresses all the complex issues leading to weight gain, both in adults and children. The Center’s team of practitioners are among the most qualified, dedicated and hospitable professionals in the industry. Learn Learn more


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