Grace G. Martin, MS, RD
Nutrition Consultant

Assisting You in Making Healthy Food
and Lifestyle Choices

Body Mass Index

BODY MASS INDEX

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a weight-to-height standard.  The BMI value is related to the body fat content of most individuals.  Hence, an individual with a high BMI is considered to be "over-fat" and therefore at risk of developing conditions and/or medical problems associated with obesity.  These medical problems include type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease (stroke), osteoarthritis, gallbladder disease and respiratory problems.

Limitations of BMI

  •  BMI may be overstated in lean muscular individuals.

  •  BMI may be understated in older adults.

  •  BMI values suggesting health risk in adults should not be applied to children and adolescents.

BMI values are markers for health risks. When values suggest health risks, further screening should be conducted to assess cardiovascular risk, fat distribution, activity levels, dietary patterns and other health problems.

ARE YOU AT RISK FOR DEVELOPING TYPE 2 DIABETES, HYPERTENSION AND/OR CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES (STROKE)?

Calculate your BMI. Enter your weight in pounds, height in feet and inches, waist size in inches and gender.
Click on the "Calculate Your BMI" button to calculate your BMI.

Enter Weight Pounds                        
Enter Height   Feet  Inches 
Enter Waist Size  Inches                 
Male Female


Your BMI value is
 

Consult the table to assess your risks.

Classification of Overweight and Obesity

BMI

Classification

Risks for Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease
(Relative to Normal Weight)

(kg/m2)

 

Waist Circumference

   

Men: <= 40 inches
Women: <= 35 inches

Men: > 40 inches
Women: > 35 inches

< 18.5 Underweight Low Low
18.5 - 24.9 Normal Weight Normal Normal
25.0 - 29.9 Overweight Increased High
30.0 - 34.9 Obesity  (Class 1) High Very High
35.0 - 39.9 Obesity  (Class 2) Very High Very High
>= 40 Obesity  (Class 3)

Extremely High

Extremely High

 Reference: The Practical Guide -- Identification, Evaluation and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, NIH Publication No. 00-4084, October 2000. 


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Last modified: August 17, 2011