What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?

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Body Mass Index (BMI) is an indicator of a person’s body mass (fatness), calculated using the person’s height and weight. BMI does not exactly measure body fats but is an easy method used by most health practitioners to identify possible weight problems for adults.

woman's feet on bathroom scale

Body Mass Index Calculator

Key in your height and your weight in the following calculator to check your Body Mass Index.

Supplied by BMI Calculator Canada

How to Determine if You Are Overweight

A BMI reading of between 18.5 and 25 indicates your ideal weight. A BMI reading of between 15 and 18.5 suggests that you are underweight, and under 15 may indicate an eating disorder. A BMI reading of between 25 and 30 suggests overweight and above 30 is obese.

1. BMI Reading

  • Eating Disorder:  under 15
  • Underweight:  15 – 18.5
  • Ideal weight:  18.5 – 25
  • Overweight:  25 – 30
  • Obese:  over 30

Recently, health authorities are recommending that BMI is used in addition to two other numbers to determine if a person really is overweight:

2. Waist circumference

  • The ideal waistline for an adult male should not be more than 100 cm (~ 40 inches); and
  • The ideal waistline for an adult female should not be more than 88 cm (~ 35 inches)

3. Waist-to-Hip Ratio (WHR)

If your waist to hip (waist / hip) ratio is more than 1, (or in other words, your waistline is bigger than your hip measurement), then you are overweight.

Accuracy of BMI Reading

The BMI reading by itself is inaccurate to determine a person’s ideal weight. Generally, developed muscles (as in athletes) are denser than body fats and the BMI does not take this into account, and would be deemed “overweight”.

On the other hand, children and the elderly may have differences in bone density, thus making them “underweight”.

To be sure, consider items 1, 2 and 3 above. If your statistics show that you are overweight in two or all three of the above categories, then you may need to begin a weight loss program.

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About Sara Ding

Sara Ding is the founder of Juicing-for-Health.com. She is a certified Wellness Health Coach, Nutritional Consultant and a Detox Specialist. She helps busy men and women identify their health issues at the root cause, in order to eliminate the problems for optimum physical/mental health and wellbeing.


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