Body Mass Index is a useful way we can attempt to calculate whether we are overweight or obese. The way it does this is by using our height and weight to give you a BMI score. This BMI score which is usually within the 15 to 35 range gives us a good idea of how fat or thin we are for our height.
Your height can have a big effect on what a healthy weight is. A tall person that weighs 160 lbs will be thin, but for a short person it might be getting too far into the overweight territory. This is where the BMI score comes in because if the BMI score is between 18.5 and 25 then you are within the normal weight category for your height. Below 18.5 and you are underweight and may be suffering with some sort of malnutrition or other health problem. Above 25 and you're into the overweight range where losing some weight could be beneficial to your health.
Calculating your BMI Score
The way that BMI is calculated is by knowing both your weight and height and then using them to calculate the BMI score. This calculation is...
weight in kg / your height in m2.
Thankfully if you want to go ahead and calculate your Body Mass Index without all the math then just visit our free BMI Calculator, put in your height and weight and let it take care of the rest. You can input both your height and weight in imperial and metric measurements plus as an added bonus it will tell you the lower and higher weight boundaries of the normal range to help you stay within your healthy weight or give you a figure to aim for if your a little too fat or too thin.
What your BMI score means
The following are the BMI categories that give you a good indication of whether your BMI score tells you whether you are at a normal healthy weight.
- Underweight is less than 18.5
- Normal is between 18.5 and 25
- Overweight is between 25 - 30
- Obesity is more than 30
If you are getting towards the high-mid 20s or over you are at higher risk of getting complication and diseases associated with having too much weight such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This might be sign that it's time to start thinking about losing some pounds.
Limitations of using BMI
It should be noted that there are some limitations to the BMI index and therefore for certain people it can give out scores which are just wrong and the BMI should probably be ignored.
- Children - The BMI index is not accurate for children and the BMI categories are different.
- Pregnant women - Pregnant women are carrying extra weight around and it makes the BMI score higher.
- Weightlifters and athletes with large muscle mass - People who have a large muscle mass weigh more yet have very little body fat makes the BMI pretty useless for them.
- Older people who have lose muscle mass - With older people who have lost muscle mass the BMI tends to overestimate the amount of muscle mass
Is your BMI score a disappointment?
If your BMI hasn't come out as well as expected then hopefully it makes you realize that something needs to be done to get back within the normal healthy weight range. So start eating healthier and begin exercising and get it back to within that normal zone.
If you haven't done it yet make sure you check out our free body mass index calculator.