Your BMI: 
Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
Overweight = 25–29.9
Obese = BMI of 30 or greater
What is BMI
BMI stands for Body Mass Index, and it is a measure of body fat based on a person’s weight and height.
The BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters. The result is then used to determine if the person is underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.
The body mass index is a screening tool used to identify potential health risks associated with a person’s weight. However, it is important to note that a body mass index is not a perfect measure of health, as it does not take into account factors such as muscle mass, body composition, or overall health.
To get a better idea of how healthy and fit someone is, it should be used in combination with other health assessments.
How to Calculate BMI
To calculate your BMI manually, you have to find out your weight and height.
Here are the steps to calculate BMI:
1. Measure your weight
You can use a scale to measure your weight in kilograms.
If you don’t have access to a scale that measures in kilograms, you can convert your weight from pounds to kilograms by dividing your weight in pounds by 2.205.
2. Measure your height
Use a tape measure or ruler to measure your height in meters.
If you don’t have access to a metric tape measure or ruler, you can convert your height from feet and inches to meters by multiplying your height in feet by 0.3048 and adding your height in inches multiplied by 0.0254.
The BMI formula divides a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters.
The Formula for Calculating BMI is
BMI Metric Units formula (kg, cm, m):
- BMI = (weight (kg) / height^2 (m^2))
For example, if you weigh 70 kilograms and are 1.75 meters tall, your BMI would be calculated as follows:
- BMI = 70 kg / (1.75 m × 1.75 m) BMI = 22.86
- Your BMI is 22.86, which is a healthy weight.
BMI Imperial Units formula (Inch and Pound):
Calculate BMI by dividing weight in pounds (lbs) by height in inches (in) squared and multiplying by a conversion factor of 703.
- BMI = 703 x Weight (lbs) / Square of height in inches
For example, if you weigh 150 lbs and are 65 inches tall, your BMI would be calculated as follows:
- BMI: [150 ÷ (65)2] x 703 = 24.96
- Your BMI is 24.96, which is a healthy weight.
The formula for calculating BMI is the same for both males and females, as it is based solely on weight and height.
BMI Chart For Men and Woman
The Body-Mass Index (BMI) is a useful tool for individuals to assess if their weight is appropriate for their height. Deviating from the recommended weight range based on height can pose health risks in the long run.
Although BMI should not be the sole factor to consider for one’s health and fitness, it serves as a helpful starting point. To calculate BMI, an individual needs to know their height and weight and compare it with the BMI chart.
BMI Table for Both Male and Females
The resulting number is then compared to BMI categories that have been established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health organizations. These categories include:
- Underweight: less than 18.5
- Normal weight: 18.5 to 24.9
- Overweight: 25 to 29.9
- Obese: 30 to 35
- Morbid obesity: Over 35
Obesity is frequently subdivided into categories:
- Obesity Class 1: BMI of 30 to < 35
- Obesity Class 2: BMI of 35 to < 40
- Obesity Class 3: BMI of 40 or higher. Class 3 obesity is sometimes categorized as “severe” obesity.
BMI Chart for Children and Teens, age 2-20
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) BMI-for-age percentiles growth charts.
However, the BMI scale used to interpret the results may differ slightly for males and females. It’s because males tend to have more muscle mass than females, which can affect their body mass index.
BMI Table for Children and Teens, Age 2-20
As a child’s body undergoes rapid development and changes, the use of a standard adult BMI chart is not appropriate. Instead, doctors use a specific chart to monitor whether a child’s weight is appropriate for their height.
To determine this, doctors start by calculating the child’s BMI using their height and weight. The resulting BMI value is then compared to other children of the same age and gender using percentages and percentiles. Weight categories for children are established based on these percentiles, including:
For example, a 25th percentile BMI for a 6-year-old female child would indicate that the child's weight is higher than 25% of girls aged 6.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends BMI categorization for children and teens between age 2 and 20.
|Healthy weight||5% – 85%|
|At risk of overweight||85% – 95%|
How to Calculate BMI for Athletes
Calculating BMI for athletes is the same as for non-athletes. But because athletes or bodybuilders tend to have higher levels of muscle mass, which weighs more than fat, BMI may not be an accurate measurement of body fat for them.
In such cases, other methods such as skinfold measurements or bioelectrical impedance analysis may be more appropriate.
It is best for athletes to talk to a healthcare professional or sports nutritionist who can look at their body and make recommendations.
BMI Calculator For Seniors
A body mass index can be used as a screening tool for seniors, but it may not be the most accurate measure of body fat for older adults. It’s because older adults may have changes in their body composition, like a decrease in muscle mass and an increase in body fat, which can affect BMI values.
To calculate BMI for seniors, the same formula is used as for other adults: weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. However, the interpretation of the results may be different.
According to the World Health Organization, a BMI value of 18.5-24.9 is considered a healthy weight range for adults aged 18–65 years, but for seniors, a slightly higher BMI may be more appropriate.
It is best for seniors to talk to a healthcare provider or registered dietitian, who can give them advice based on their needs and health status.
Importance and Benefit of Measuring BMI
Body Mass Index (BMI) is an important measure of body fat that provides a quick and easy way to screen for potential health risks related to weight.
Here are some reasons why BMI is important:
1. Assessing Health Risks
A BMI is a useful tool for identifying who are at increased risk for health problems related to their weight, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer.
Research has shown that people with higher BMI have an increased risk of these health problems.
2. Simple Screening Tool
A quick and easy screening tool that can be used by healthcare professionals to identify who may need further evaluation or treatment for weight-related health issues.
3. Motivation for Lifestyle Changes
BMI can be a motivator for people who are overweight or obese to make lifestyle changes to improve their health.
Having a healthy body mass index can help you achieve a healthier weight and reduce your risk of weight-related health problems.
4. Widely Recognized
BMI is a measure of body fat that is used by doctors and researchers around the world.
This universal recognition makes it easy to compare results across different groups and studies.
5. Free of Cost
Compared to more expensive and invasive measures of body composition, such as dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scans, BMI is a cost-effective option for assessing body fat.
Limitations of BMI
By understanding the benefits and limitations of body mass index (BMI), you can take steps to improve their health and reduce their risk of weight-related health problems.
There are several limitations to consider, including:
- BMI does not consider differences in body composition, such as muscle mass.
- It does not tell the difference between different types of body fat, such as subcutaneous fat and visceral fat.
- The body mass index may not be an accurate measure of body fat in older adults, men and women of different ages, or individuals of different ethnicities.
- The body mass index doesn’t take into account an individual’s overall health status or other risk factors for weight-related health problems, such as diabetes or heart disease.
What Are The Health Risks Related To Being Overweight?
Being overweight can increase the risk of developing several health problems, including:
1. Type 2 diabetes
Fat accumulation makes it difficult for the body to utilize insulin properly.
It is associated with high blood sugar levels and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
2. High blood pressure
Being overweight can increase the workload on the heart and blood vessels.
It increases high blood pressure and increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
3. Heart disease
Excess body fat can increase levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
The buildup of plaque in the arteries leads to an increased risk of heart disease.
Being overweight can increase the risk of developing blood clots, which can lead to a stroke.
5. Sleep apnea
Body fat accumulation can make it difficult to breathe during sleep, leading to sleep apnea and other sleep-related problems.
6. Joint problems
Being overweight can put extra stress on the joints, which can lead to joint pain and an increased risk of getting arthritis.
7. Fatty liver disease
Fat accumulation in the liver can lead to fatty liver disease and an increased risk of liver damage.
8. Gallbladder disease
Increase the risk of developing gallstones and other gallbladder problems.
9. Kidney disease
Being overweight increases the risk of developing kidney disease and other kidney problems.
10. Reproductive problems
Infertility and polycystic ovary syndrome can be caused by excess body fat, which can affect hormone levels and lead to reproductive problems.
11. Mental health problems
Obesity can cause feelings of low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety.
12. Respiratory problems
Excess body fat can make breathing harder and increase the risk of respiratory problems, including asthma and shortness of breath.
13. Digestive problems
Being overweight can increase the risk of developing acid reflux, heartburn, and other digestive issues.
A higher body mass index is linked to an increased risk of several types of cancer, including breast, colon, and prostate cancer.
What Are The Risks of Being Underweight?
Being underweight can also increase the risk of several health problems, including:
Being underweight can be a sign of malnutrition, which can lead to deficiencies in essential nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals.
2. Weakened Immune System
Malnutrition can weaken the immune system, making it difficult for the body to fight off infections and illnesses.
Malnutrition can lead to a lack of iron and other essential nutrients needed to produce red blood cells, resulting in anemia and its associated symptoms.
A low BMI can increase the risk of getting osteoporosis and other bone-related problems because a low body weight can lead to a loss of bone density.
5. Reproductive Problems
Being underweight can affect hormone levels and lead to reproductive problems, including irregular periods and infertility.
6. Growth and Development Issues
Being underweight can have a negative impact on growth and development, especially in children and adolescents.
These health risks can be reduced by maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise.
Best Tip For Improving BMI and Health
People can take several actions towards better health, including:
1. Eating a Balanced Diet
Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can provide the body with the essential nutrients it needs to function properly.
2. Do Regular Exercise
Exercising regularly is essential for fat loss and overall health. Not only does it burn calories, but it also helps to boost metabolism and build muscle mass.
Additionally, regular exercise can also help to improve mood, reduce stress and improve overall cardiovascular health.(1).
Related Post: 10 Best Exercises To Lose Weight Fast At Home
3. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential for fat loss and overall health.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces more ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger and cravings for sugary and high-calorie foods.
4. Reducing Stress
Managing stress through relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga, can improve mental health and reduce the risk of stress-related health problems.
5. Drink Plenty Of Water
Drinking water is essential for weight loss and overall health.
Not only does it help to flush out toxins and keep your body hydrated, but it can also help to suppress your appetite.
When you feel thirsty, it’s easy to mistake that feeling for hunger, leading you to eat more than you need to.
By drinking water, you can help to reduce your overall calorie intake.
6. Reduce Sugar And Processed Foods
Reducing your intake of sugar and processed foods is crucial for weight loss and overall health.
These types of foods are often high in calories, added sugars, and unhealthy fats, which can contribute to weight gain and a host of other health problems.
Additionally, processed foods often lack essential nutrients, making it difficult to meet your daily nutritional needs.
7. Avoiding Tobacco and Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol and tobacco use can increase the risk of several health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and liver disease.
If you are having difficulty quitting tobacco or limiting alcohol consumption on your own, please seek help from a healthcare provider or support group. They can provide guidance and support to help you achieve your goals.
Is BMI an accurate indicator of health?
BMI is a useful starting point for assessing people’s weight status, but it is not a definitive indicator of overall health.
It is also important to consider factors such as muscle mass and body composition.
Can BMI be used for children?
Yes, It is possible to use BMI for children, but the calculation and interpretation of the results are different for adults. Children’s BMI values are compared to age and gender specific percentiles.
How can I improve my BMI?
To improve your body mass index, you can focus on a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular physical activity. It is also important to prioritize adequate sleep and manage stress effectively.
Can losing weight improve my BMI and overall health?
Yes, if you are overweight, losing weight can improve both your BMI and your overall health. Even a small amount of weight loss can have significant health benefits, such as improved blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood sugar control.
The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a useful tool for assessing body fat and potential health risks related to weight.
It is a simple calculation that provides a quick assessment of an individual’s weight status. However, it is important to remember that BMI has limitations, and it should not be used as the only measure of health.
Therefore, it is important to use BMI with other measures, like waist circumference and body fat percentage, to get a more complete picture of your health.
By understanding the benefits and limitations of the program, you can take steps to improve their health.
Making healthy lifestyle changes will help you stay fit, healthy, and happy.
Manish brings over 10 years of hands-on experience in weight lifting and fat loss to fitness coaching. He specializes in gym-based training and has a lot of knowledge about exercise, lifting technique, biomechanics, and more.
Through “Fit Life Regime,” he generously shares the insights he’s gained over a decade in the field. His goal is to equip others with the knowledge to start their own fitness journey.