Medically the review by Natalie Olsen, R.D., L.D., ACSM EP-C — created by Yvette Brazier ~ above November 9, 2018

Body fixed index, or BMI, is a measure up of human body size. It combines a person’s weight through their height. The results of a BMI measurement can give an idea around whether a person has the correct weight for your height.

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BMI is a screening device that can indicate whether a person is underweight or if they have actually a healthy and balanced weight, overabundance weight, or obesity. If a person’s BMI is outside of the healthy range, their health risks may increase significantly.

Carrying too lot weight can lead to a selection of health and wellness conditions, together as kind 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and also cardiovascular problems.

A sweet that is also low have the right to increase the risk of malnutrition, osteoporosis, and also anemia. The doctor will make an ideal recommendations.

BMI does not measure human body fat directly, and it does not account for age, sex, ethnicity, or muscle fixed in adults.

However, it offers standard weight status categories that can help doctors to track load status across populations and identify potential issues in individuals.

BMI in adults

Share on PinterestA BMI graph or calculator can display a human if they have a healthy and balanced weight.
Calculating BMI entails measuring a person’s height and also body weight.


So, to calculation an adult’s BMI: division their weight in kilograms (kg) by the square of their height in meter (m2)

Since most world measure height in centimeters (cm), divide height in cm by 100 to acquire height in meters.


When using royal units, the formula is: BMI = lbs x 703/in2In various other words: multiply a person’s weight in pounds (lbs) through 703. Then divide by their height in inches, squared (in2)

To avoid using the math, a person have the right to use a calculator or a chart to discover their BMI.

BMI calculator

Enter height or weight in either imperial or metric dimensions to uncover your BMI.

BMI charts

People can also work out their BMI using a chart. Click below to watch a chart provided by the national Heart, Lung, and Blood academy (NHLBI).

Locate your height in customs on the side of the chart, then look across to discover your body load in pounds. Scan come the peak to view if the result corresponds to a normal weight, overweight, or obesity.

Understanding the results

The following table shows standard weight status categories connected with BMI varieties for adults.

BMI load status
Below 18.5Underweight
30.0 and also aboveObese

BMI of much less than 18.5

A BMI of less than 18.5 suggests that you room underweight, for this reason you might need to put on part weight. You are recommended come ask your doctor or a dietitian because that advice.

BMI the 18.5–24.9

A BMI that 18.5-24.9 shows that you space at a healthy and balanced weight for her height. By preserving a healthy weight, you lower your risk of occurring serious health problems.

BMI that 25–29.9

A BMI that 25-29.9 shows that you are slightly overweight. You may be advised to lose some weight for health reasons. You are recommended to speak to your physician or a dietitian because that advice.

BMI of over 30

A BMI of over 30 indicates that you are heavily overweight. Your health may it is in at risk if you execute not shed weight. You room recommended to speak to your physician or a dietitian because that advice.

In adults, BMI values room not linked to age and are the exact same for both sexes.

However, measure up BMI in children and also teens is slightly different. Girls and also boys develop at different rates and also have different quantities of human body fat at various ages. Because that this reason, BMI measurements during childhood and also adolescence take age and also sex into consideration.

Doctors and also other health specialists do not categorize youngsters by healthy and balanced weight varieties because:

they change with each month the agemale and also female body varieties change at various ratesthey change as the child grows taller

Doctors calculate BMI because that children and teens in the same method as they perform for adults, by measure height and weight. Then they find the BMI number and also person’s period on a sex-specific BMI-for-age chart. This will suggest whether the son is in ~ a healthy range.

Calculator and charts because that child and teen BMI

The Centers for an illness Control and Prevention (CDC) have produced a calculator that offers BMI and the equivalent BMI-for-age percentile on a CDC growth chart for children and also teens.

First, click right here for the calculator.

Next, usage the charts to view if a child’s weight is perfect for their age.

Click right here for the charts:

What execute the results mean?

The complying with categories describe the meaning of the results:

Weight status categoryPercentile range
UnderweightBelow the fifth percentile
Healthy weight5th percentile to less than the 85th percentile
Overweight85th to much less than the 95th percentile
ObesityEqual come or greater than the 95th percentile

BMI is no accurate enough to usage as a diagnostic tool, but it can display for potential weight problems in adults and children.

If someone has a high or short BMI, a doctor or other healthcare professional can then consider other factors, together as:

skinfold thickness measurements, i beg your pardon indicate just how much fat is in the human body in adults and also childrenevaluations the diet and physical activitydiscuss any family background of cardiovascular an illness and other health problemsrecommend other proper health screenings

The physician or healthcare skilled can then make diet and also exercise recommendations based on these results.

Excess weight has the following impacts on the body:

It rises how hard the heart needs to work.It lowers high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or great cholesterol levels.

According come the nationwide Institute the Diabetes and Digestive and also Kidney conditions (NIDDK), delivering extra weight can increase the danger of the following conditions:

dyslipidemia, which requires high LDL cholesterol, short HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglyceridestype 2 diabetesgallbladder diseaseosteoarthritissleep apnea and respiratory problems

Carrying extra weight as a kid or teenager can likewise pose far-reaching health risks, both during childhood and into adulthood.

As through adult obesity, childhood obesity boosts the threat of various health problems, consisting of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and also sleep apnea.

The American heart Association (AHA), allude out that children with a high BMI likewise have a greater risk of:

Benefits that a healthy and balanced weight

Share top top PinterestWalking with family or friends can be an enjoyable way of maintaining fit and preventing undesirable weight gain.

Apart native reducing the hazard of the health and wellness conditions, preserving a healthy and balanced weight offers added benefits:

fewer joint and also muscle painsincreased energy and capability to join in more activitiesimproved regulation of bodily fluids and also blood pressurereduced burden on the heart and also circulatory systemimproved sleep patterns

BMI is a useful tool, yet it cannot determine whether a person’s load is made up of muscle or fat.

For example, an athlete through a lot of muscle organization may have a higher BMI 보다 a person who is not very active. But, this go not median that the athlete is overweight or unhealthy.

In addition, cardiovascular disease and high blood push are an ext likely to happen in people who have additional fat — well-known as visceral fat — about their middle rather than their hips.

Other steps of human body size encompass waist-hip ratio, waist-to-height ratio, and also body composition, which actions body fat and also lean body mass. This measurement systems focus much more on the quantity of fat a human has and also its distribution about the body.

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Together v BMI, these extr measures can help to assess much more accurately the wellness risks linked with an individual’s weight.