Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI stands for Body Mass Index. It is a number that shows body weight adjusted for height. BMI can be calculated with simple math using inches and pounds, or meters and kilograms. To calculate your BMI, use the calculator below.

BMI correlates with body fat, but does not measure body fat. The relation between fatness and BMI differs with age and gender. For example, women are more likely to have a higher percent of body fat than men for the same BMI. On average, older people may have more body fat than younger adults with the same BMI. In addition, a bodybuilder may have less fat but more muscle mass even he or she has the same BMI as someone who does not exercise.

Calculate your BMI

  (feet) (inches)


How to use BMI?

Weight Status

For adults aged 20 years or older, BMI falls into one of these categories: underweight, normal, overweight, or obese.

All persons who are obese or overweight should try not to gain additional weight. In addition, those who are obese or who are overweight with other risk factors should consider losing weight. A complete health assessment by a physician is the best way to decide the right steps for you.

Whatever your BMI, talk to your doctor to see if you are at an increased risk for disease and if you should lose weight. Even a small weight loss (just 10% of your current weight) may help to lower the risk of disease. Physical activity and good nutrition are key factors in leading a healthy lifestyle and reducing risk for disease.

Risk for Disease

The BMI ranges are based on the effect body weight has on disease and death. As BMI increases, the risk for some disease increases. Some common conditions related to overweight and obesity include:

BMI is only one of many factors used to predict risk for disease. BMI cannot be used to tell a person if he/she has a disease such as diabetes or cancer. It is important to remember that weight is only one factor that is related to disease.

Use BMI with other health risk indicators

BMI is just one of many factors related to developing a chronic disease (such as heart disease, cancer, or diabetes). Other factors that may be important to look at when assessing your risk for chronic disease include:

That is why regular health screening by your doctor is a critical part of health maintenance program. Please visit our Health Screening section to find more detail.

| Home| Woman's Health| The Basic| Health Screening| Exercise|