Body Mass Index (BMI) is a convenient way to estimate how much fat is on your body. Calculate your BMI can help determine your risk for dangerous health conditions that are associated with increased body fat.
What’s my BMI? Why does it matter?
If you’re trying to lose weight—or just improve your lifestyle—it’s a question you may ponder every day. And even if you know the value of your BMI, you may still wonder what that number really means. When it comes to BMI, the best thing you can do is to get to know your number, understand its meaning, and take the necessary steps to get that value where it needs to be with exercise and a healthy diet plan. Here, I will help you better understand the significance of those three letters when it comes to your weight and overall health.
BMI according to Standard Weight Status Categories
Your body mass index is your weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters.
Formula: weight (kg) / [height (m)]2
The result of this equation provides a snapshot of your weight category, with a high BMI representing higher level of body fat. As mentioned below, excess body fat can put you at increased risk for diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Keep in mind, however, that BMI is not an exact science. Health care professionals may use it to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems, but it is not an absolute diagnostic tool to determine body fat or overall health.
Before we get into how to calculate your BMI, here’s what the number means:
18.4 and under: Underweight
18.5 to 24.5: Healthy weight (this is your goal)
25 to 29.9: Overweight
30 or above: Obese
BMI values and ranges are the same for women and men, regardless of age. They are different in children, however.
Getting Down to It: What Your BMI Really Means
By itself, BMI is just a number. Attach it to a person and that person’s overall health and activity level, and it has much more meaning. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind about BMI and how it relates to health:
BMI indicates body fat
Research has shown, having too much body fat increases risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Usually, the higher the BMI, the higher the risk of these diseases, and the higher the risk of premature death. In most people, a reliable way to determine whether they have too much body fat is to calculate the ratio of their weight to their height squared, or their BMI. Keep in mind that BMI measurement is a screening tool. In order to get the best picture of your health status and risks, see your health care provider.
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Disclaimer: this calculator is not intended to replace any doctors advice or help with any specific aliment. It was designed to give a general idea of caloric intake. They can be skewed. Do not replace professional medical advice with your results.