BMI is a useful measure of overweight and obesity. It is calculated from your height and weight. BMI is an estimate of body fat and a good gauge of your risk for diseases that can occur with more body fat. Understanding your BMI can help you determine if you are at a healthy weight, underweight, overweight, or obese.
Understanding Your Results
Below is a table showing the standard classifications of BMI:
|18.5 – 24.9||Normal weight|
|25 – 29.9||Overweight|
Below are some common questions about BMI, its implications, and how to interpret the results from our calculator:
BMI does not account for muscle mass, bone density, and overall body composition. For instance, athletes with high muscle mass may be classified as obese despite having low body fat 1.
BMI is calculated by dividing an individual’s weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters1.
The BMI for children aged 2 and over considers age, gender, height, and weight, presenting the result as a “centile” to compare with peers of the same age and sex.
The healthy BMI range is 18.5 to 23 for Black, Asian, and some other minority ethnic groups due to a higher risk of developing conditions like type 2 diabetes at a lower BMI.
If your BMI is outside the normal range, or if you’re concerned about your weight or overall health, it’s advisable to consult a doctor.
The concept of BMI was introduced in the early 19th century by the Belgian mathematician Adolphe Quetelet.
Due to the lack of accounting for muscle mass, athletes and muscular individuals may find BMI an inaccurate measure of body fat and should consider other methods of measurement.
Explore more about BMI and related health topics:
- Understanding BMI – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Healthy Weight Guide – NHS
- Nutrition and Healthy Eating – Mayo Clinic
- Physical Activity Guidelines – health.gov
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