BMI (Body Mass Index) is a number calculated from a person's weight and height. BMI is a fairly reliable indicator of body fatness for most people. Additionally, BMI is an inexpensive and easy-to-perform method of screening for weight categories that may lead to health problems.
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A person’s Body-Mass Index, or BMI, helps them check whether they’re a healthy weight for their height. If a person weighs less or more than the recommended weight for their height, it could lead to health issues in the future. While BMI is not the only factor individuals should consider while working on their health and fitness, it is a good starting point. To understand what your BMI is, you need to know your height and weight. You can then check your BMI against the BMI chart:
The numbers on the chart will help you understand if you’re underweight, a healthy weight, overweight or obese.
Underweight – BMI less than 18.5
Normal weight – BMI between 18.5 and 24
Overweight – BMI between 25 and 29.9
Obese – BMI above 30
Researchers have divided obesity into three categories:
Class I – BMI 30 to 34.9
Class II – BMI 35 – 39.9
Class III – BMI 40+
To arrive at your BMI figure, you need to know your weight in kilograms and your height in metres. If you know what your height is in centimetres, you can simply divide that number by 100. To calculate your BMI, you need to divide your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared.
If you know what your weight is in pounds and what your height is in inches, you can still calculate your BMI. You need to divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared. You then need to multiply the amount by 703.
You can also use our BMI calculator to quickly find out your BMI. Simply input your height and weight to find out your BMI instantly.
BMI for Kids
Your child’s body develops and changes rapidly. This is why a standard adult BMI chart will not work. Instead, to keep track of whether your child is the correct weight for their height, doctors use another chart. They start with a standard BMI calculation based on your child’s height and weight. The BMI value is then used to determine how your child compares to other children of the same age and gender. This is done with the help of percentages and percentiles. The weight categories for children, based on percentiles, are:
Underweight – BMI less than the 5th percentile
Normal Weight – BMI above the 5thpercentile but lower than the 85th percentile
Overweight – BMI above the 85th percentile but lower than the 95th percentile
Obese – BMI greater than or equal to the 95th percentile
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BMI Calculator - FAQs
How do I calculate my BMI?
BMI or body mass index is a measure of how much body mass an individual has according to his weight and height. To calculate your BMI, simply divide your weight in kilograms by your height squared in metres. You can also find the results instantly by entering the height and weight data in online BMI calculators. BMI is not always an appropriate indicator of a person’s health. Growing children and elderly people may have less muscle mass and therefore lower weight, thus lowering their BMI. On the other hand, athletes may have higher BMI as they put on plenty of muscle from exercise.
How is BMI measured?
The BMI formula is quantified as kg/m2 for most adults, irrespective of gender. The formula that uses kilograms and meters is called a metric BMI formula while the one that uses pounds and inches for measurement is called the imperial BMI formula. The BMI score chart is applied to adults aged 20 and above. A BMI between 18.5 and 25 is considered normal, between 25 and 30 overweight, between 30 to 35 fat, and between 35 and 40 too fat. BMI should preferably be measured first thing in the morning before breakfast, the time when your weight is most accurate.
What is ideal BMI for a man?
Maintaining a healthy body weight is important for everyone. According to the Center for Disease Control, men who have a BMI of 30 and above are obese, between 18.5 and 25 are considered normal, those with BMI below 18.5 are labelled underweight and those with BMI between 25 and 29 are considered overweight. As a thumb rule, taller men should weigh more than shorter guys, generally 2 to 4 points more per inch of height. The tendency to put on weight also increases with age, even though height, body frame and gender play crucial roles in determining your BMI levels.
What is ideal BMI for a woman?
The ideal, overweight, underweight and obese BMI ranges for men and women are the same with only minor differences. A National Institute for Health, USA study found that women who had never smoked but were overweight had a 13 per cent increased chance of dying, than those with a BMI between 22.5 and 24.9. Women who are obese or severely obese had significantly higher chances of dying early. Researchers saw a 44 per cent rise in risk of death for participants with BMI of 30 to 35 and an 88 per cent upside in risk for those with a BMI of 35 to 40, followed by a 250 per cent higher risk of dying for women whose BMIs fell between 40 and 49.
How much should I weigh for my height and age?
BMI figures are responsive to changes in height but not to age. Maintaining a healthy BMI as you grow older becomes tough as due to a slowed metabolism you tend to put on more weight, mostly on the waistline. After 20 years of age, the height of a person becomes more or less settled. Weight therefore becomes the variable that you should take into account. It is alright for a taller person to weigh more than a shorter person. The guideline to follow here is irrespective of how old or how young you are, your BMI should fall within 18.5 and 25.
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